Suicide Bombing Strikes Ballot Warehouse In Iraq

A suicide bomber has targeted a storage site in northern Iraq containing ballot boxes from the May parliamentary elections, wounding at least 19 people, officials say.

Security officers said a car bomb driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the main gate of the warehouse in the city of Kirkuk on July 1, days before a vote recount.

The building was damaged by the blast but the ballot boxes were unaffected, Kirkuk Governor Rakan al-Juburi said.

Police officers, members of a counterterrorist unit, and civilians were said to be among those wounded.

Some reports said one person was also killed.

Initial results from the May 12 elections gave an alliance led by Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr the largest share of the vote, but the voting was overshadowed by accusations of fraud.

A manual recount of the country's disputed parliamentary elections is due to begin on July 3 in several provinces, including Kirkuk.

In early June, a storage site containing ballots from Baghdad's Al-Rusafa district went up in flames in an incident Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi described as a "plot" aimed at undermining Iraq's democracy.

Based on reporting by dpa, AFP, and Reuters