Explosives are found at polling station in Iraq
January 28, 2009
SAADIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi police officers found explosives planted at a polling station Sunday morning here, the latest incident in a tense run-up to provincial elections in northeast Diyala province.
The officers found two anti-tank mines with cell phone detonators at a school that will act as a polling station in Saadiyah, north of Baghdad in a part of Iraq disputed between Kurds and Arabs, U.S. military officials said.
An Iraqi army explosives ordnance team defused and disposed of the explosives, officials said.
Two men hired to guard the school were arrested for suspected complicity in the bombing plot, an Iraqi police official said.
Provincial elections are set for Jan. 31 and U.S. and Iraqi security forces are focusing much of their attention on security for polling stations.
Last week, outside a U.S. base in northern Iraq, Iraqi vehicles carrying security barriers for polling places were destroyed by explosives.
The vote will be held in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces on Saturday. The election is to fill 440 provincial council seats, with around 14,000 candidates on the ballots, Iraqi officials said.
Borders and airports will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Sunday, Iraqi officials said. Only vehicles of the security forces and medical crews will be allowed on the streets.
Meanwhile, nine women were found murdered in their home Friday outside of Balad Ruz, in northern Diyala province, U.S. military officials said.
The victims were all Sunni and ranged in age from 9 to 54 years old.
Details were not immediately available and there have been conflicting reports as to whether the killings were sectarian or "honor killings," for alleged indiscretions by women in the house.