Bombers Hit Baghdad as Early Voting Starts
Voters casting ballots in parliamentary elections are targets
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 4, 2010 8:39 AM CST
An elderly Iraqi woman who gave her name only as Umm Ali, 75, raises her inked finger after casting her vote.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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(Newser) – A string of blasts across Baghdad targeting voters killed at least 17 people today, ratcheting up fear as many Iraqis cast early ballots ahead of Sunday's nationwide parliamentary elections. The blasts hit voters outside polling stations. "Terrorists wanted to hamper the elections, thus they started to blow themselves up in the streets," said the deputy interior minister in charge of security.

Many of the victims were believed to be security personnel—the main group to cast their ballots during early voting since they will be working on election day. Insurgents have repeatedly threatened to use violence to disrupt the elections, which will help determine who will oversee the country as US forces go home and whether the country can overcome its deep sectarian divides.