Iraq death toll spikes ahead of election


AFP
March 1, 2010

The number of Iraqis killed in February almost doubled month on month, official figures showed on Monday, just days ahead of a March 7 general election which Al-Qaeda has threatened to disrupt.

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Data compiled by the health, interior and defence ministries showed that 352 Iraqis — 211 civilians, 96 police and 45 soldiers — died in attacks last month, an 80 percent increase on January’s toll of 196 killed.

Last month’s death toll was also around 40 percent higher than the figure for February 2009.

Iraq’s national security adviser told AFP on Sunday that security forces had found and prevented at least 10 vehicle bombs in the past month as Al-Qaeda and other insurgent groups sought to target the election.

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