Iraq’s prime minister has warned of more violence as the country prepares for a general election next year. Nuri al-Maliki was speaking on the day a wave of bombs detonated in Shi-ite areas killing at least 42 people and wounding 200.
American combat troops withdrew from Iraqi urban areas in June. Since then, a wave of sectarian bombings has raised questions about the ability of the Iraqi forces to cope on their own. The latest to hit Baghdad targeted a marketplace and builders waiting to start work. “There will be increasing attempts to damage and violate security. They will try in any way they can, to give the impression that the political process is not stable,” the Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki said. Four hundred kilometres north, in a predominantly Shi-ite village near Mosul, there was more bloodshed. Two lorries parked a couple of hundred metres apart detonated in the early hours within a minute of each other. One witness said he thought at first there had been an earthquake. The explosions flattened more than 30 homes killing at least 23 people as they slept.