Suicide bomber attacks ballot box storage site in Kirkuk

Members of the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) arrive at the scene of an attack outside warehouses where ballots from the May 12 parliamentary vote were stored in the northern multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk early on July 1, 2018. Marwan Ibrahim / AFP

Baghdad ( – At least 21 persons were killed and injured Sunday in a car bomb attack near a site housing ballot boxes from May 12 parliamentary elections in Kirkuk, a security source was quoted a saying.

“A suicide bomber driving a car blew himself up outside the gate of the presidential complex in Kirkuk, leaving one person dead and 20 others wounded,” the source told Baghdad Today website.

The source pointed out that most of those injured in the bomb attack are police officers stationed to protect the site, where a manual recount of parliamentary election votes was scheduled to take place.

“No ballot boxes were affected by the explosion,” the source said.

Kirkuk governor Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri, for his part, termed the attack as “a huge terrorist act meant to undermine Kirkuk’s stability.”

“The targeting of ballot box storage site sends a strong message but our forces are capable of foiling any plot meant to undermine Kirkuk’s security,” Jabouri said.

The Iraqi elections commission said on Saturday that the manual recount of May 12 parliamentary election votes will start Tuesday in Kirkuk province.

Judge Laith Hamza, a spokesman for Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission, said that the recount would begin in the province of Kirkuk before it extends to six more provinces, namely Sulaimaniya, Erbil, Dohuk, Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar.

Representatives of the United Nations, political parties, local and international observers and agents of parliamentary candidates will be allowed to attend the manual recount of votes.

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