11 killed at Iraq campaign rally for Shi'ite group

2014-04-25 22:31
 (Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Baghdad - A series of bombs exploded on Friday at a campaign rally for a Shi’ite group in Iraq's capital ahead of the country's parliamentary election, killing at least 11 people and wounding 23, authorities said.

The explosions struck as about 10 000 people had gathered at the Industrial Stadium in eastern Baghdad for the Asaib Ahl al-Haq rally, in which the Shi’ite group planned to announce its candidates for Iraq's parliamentary election on Wednesday.

An AP reporter at the rally heard intense gunfire follow the blasts. Attendees fled to a nearby building under construction in the stadium complex as female parliamentary candidates screamed.

Police and medical officials say the blasts killed at least 11 people and wounded 23. They said several of the wounded were in critical condition. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they weren't authorized to release the information.

Followers of Asaib Ahl al-Haq carried out deadly attacks against US troops before their withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and claimed responsibility for the 2007 kidnapping of a British contractor along with his four guards.

The group is backed by Iran and says it is sending fighters to Syria.

Its leader, Sheik Qais al-Khazali, spent years in US detention but was released after he was handed over to the Iraqi government.

At the rally on Friday, he gave a brief address that challenged the Sunni militants holding two cities in Anbar province.

Security guards jumped on al-Khazali and pushed him away from the stadium after the blasts.

The blasts on Friday highlight the sectarian violence that's plagued Iraq recently.

Last year, the death toll in the country climbed to its highest levels since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting between 2006 and 2008. The UN says 8 868 people were killed in 2013, and more than 1 400 people were killed in the first two months of this year alone.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though an al-Qaeda spin-off group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant uses similar tactics.

The group and other Sunni militants frequently use car bombs and suicide attacks to target public areas and government buildings in their bid to undermine confidence in the Shi’ite-led government and target Shi’ite groups.

More than 9 000 candidates are taking part in Wednesday's elections and will vie for 328 seats in parliament. Parts of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province won't take part in the election due the clashes there between security forces and al-Qaeda-inspired militants.

- AP

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  iraq
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Montague Gardens - 17:45 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS approaching Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
  • Thursday Milnerton - 17:45 PM
    Road name: Marine Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Boundary Road and Blaauwberg Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your heart is big and you are sensitive to the needs of those around you. Your humanitarian side is emphasized today and you may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.