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Deadly car bomb hits Kirkuk ahead of vote recount

Deadly car bomb hits Kirkuk ahead of vote recount

Deadly car bomb hits Kirkuk ahead of vote recount
July 01
13:58 2018

An attacker has detonated a car bomb in the Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk two days before the northern city is set to host a recount of votes from the country’s May parliamentary polls.

One person was killed and more than 20 more injured in the explosion, which took place outside a site housing ballot boxes on Sunday, Reuters reported.

“The driver detonated the vehicle before reaching the entrance of the warehouse after officers guarding the facility opened fire,” the agency cited a police source as saying.

The recount is to go underway on Tuesday under a parliamentary mandate, which has ordered that the process be carried out for the entire country.

Senior Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's electoral list won the May polls. The lists headed by former transport minister and the current head of the country’s Hashd al-Sha’abi defense force, Hadi al-Ameri, and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi came second and third.

Sadr has formed an alliance with the other two sides.

Abadi, however, has ordered the creation of a high-powered commission to look into complaints of irregularities by political parties and lawmakers.

Last month, a storage site housing ballot boxes from the parliamentary elections in the capital Baghdad caught fire ahead of a recount, which officials said was an act of arson. 

Abadi said the torching of the storage site for ballot boxes was part of a plot to damage Iraq's democratic process.

“Burning election warehouses … is a plot to harm the nation and its democracy. We will take all necessary measures and strike with an iron fist all who undermine the security of the nation and its citizens,” he said. 

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