According to officials three bombings in the Iraqi city of Baaquba have left at least 33 people dead, another 55 people wounded, and serious doubts about safety just days before the national election.
Two near-simultaneous vehicle bombings targeted a pair of police stations in the city, while a third bomber infiltrated the hospital, posing as someone injured in one of the initial strikes.
The third bomber was said to have tried to kill the district’s police chief, and was reportedly wearing a police uniform. Following his bombing the police chief’s security team began to fire wildly into the air, though it is unclear if this caused any injuries or just scared the already wounded victims of the bombings.
Diyala Province MP Delair Hassan criticized the police for failing to prevent the bombings, noting that it had been widely predicted that such attacks would happen ahead of the vote. Police have placed the entire city under curfew until further notice.
It is unclear who the attackers were or if they were targeting anyone in specific with respect to the election. Some predict, however, that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s reelection bid will suffer, as he made improved security the centerpiece of his campaign.