Car bomb kills seven in Baghdad

A car bomb exploded today in a commercial street of south-western Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding nine others, police said.

The blast occurred this afternoon in the predominantly Shiite Bayaa district, police said.

Bayaa was the scene of Sunni-Shiite fighting last year when Shiite militias displaced many Sunnis.

Although violence is down sharply from last year, US officials fear an increase in the run-up to provincial elections to be held by the end of January.

Voters will select ruling councils in most of the country’s 18 provinces.

No date for the election has been set.

The spokesman for the election commission, Qassim al-Aboudi, said there’s not enough time to organise a ballot this year but that it will take place soon after the New Year.

He told reporters that a total of 440 provincial seats would be contested with 57 of them in Baghdad.

About 20,000 people have been trained as election monitors, he said.


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