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3 Feb, 2010 18:21

Violence in Iraq escalates ahead of parliamentary elections

At least 22 people died and more than 100 were wounded in three separate bomb-attacks targeting Shiite pilgrims in Iraq on Wednesday. Fears grow that the violence will spike as the climax of the pilgrimage approaches.

The attacks follow a suicide bombing two days earlier that killed 54 pilgrims heading to a Shia Muslim Festival in Karbala, a city located 100 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Nabil Badr from the Egyptian Council of Foreign Relations believes the attacks are related to next month's parliamentary elections in the country.

“They do depict the lack of unity, the missing national scheme between the different factions in Iraq, so they are bound to continue. Of course, the proximity of elections is an invitation for each faction to prove it can influence the situation,” Nabil Badr told RT.