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Insurgents Attack Polling Stations in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, AP -A roadside bomb killed three Iraqi soldiers in northeast Iraq on Saturday, and six people were wounded in attacks by insurgents on four of Baghdad”s 1,200 polling stations during the country”s constitutional referendum, police said.

The bomb exploded early Saturday near an Iraqi army and police convoy in an area about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing three soldiers and wounding three, an officer said. The convoy was on a patrol unrelated to the referendum, the officer said on condition of anonymity as a security precaution in the volatile area.

The attacks in Baghdad occurred near four different polling stations.

As voting began nationwide at 7 a.m., a roadside bomb exploded in the western area of Amiriyah near a school that had just opened its doors, wounding two policemen, said police Lt. Mohammed Kheyon. No voters were present, he said.

At 8:30 a.m., a small rocket exploded near a voting center in Azamiyah, northern Baghdad, slightly wounding one civilian, said police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud.

In the nearby area of Kazemiyah, a mortar round fell near a polling station at 9 a.m., but it did not explode, said police Maj. Falah al-Mhamadawi.

Later, insurgents opened fire on a polling center in the Amil district in western Baghdad, and police fired back at random, accidentally wounding three civilians who were walking toward the school, said police Capt. Talib Thamir. He said the shooting was being investigated.

Violence also occurred in Ramadi, a city west of Baghdad, and near the southern city of Basra, but no injuries were reported.

In Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, insurgents attacked a U.S. military patrol and fired six mortar rounds at a sports hall being used as a polling center, said police 1st Lt. Mohammed Al-Obaidi. No injuries were immediately reported.

South of Basra, three armed men attacked an empty polling station at 3 a.m. and were caught and arrested, said police Capt. Mushtaq Kadim.

Sunni-led insurgents had vowed to wreck Saturday”s referendum at about 6,000 polling stations across Iraq. In the 19 days before the voting, nearly 450 people were killed by insurgents using suicide car bombs, roadside bombs and drive-by shootings.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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