In the run-up to March 7th elections, a string of suicide bombings across Iraq have continued to target civilians and cause widespread disruptions.  Yesterday’s terrible bombing killed dozens of civilians including blowing up a hospital where victims were being treated.

Since August, a series of large-scale bombings aimed at government buildings have killed several hundred people and shaken confidence in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s security services, following the withdrawal of most U.S. combat forces from major Iraqi cities last summer.

The number of Iraqis killed in February was twice as high as in January and 40% higher than a year earlier. The ongoing violence deters many of the 2 million Iraqi refugees — many of them middle class professionals now living in Syria — from returning to Iraq.


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