BASRA, Iraq – Dozens of explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital and other cities Sunday morning, souring the early hours of Iraq’s first parliamentary election as a sovereign nation. Iraqi police officials said 38 people were killed and 89 wounded.
As polls were closing at 5 p.m., Iraqi officials said the series of attacks failed to thwart the election, which unfolded smoothly in several parts of the country.
“During the first few hours, turnout was light in most provinces, but then increased steeply,” Hamidiaya al-Hussein, an official with Iraq’s electoral commission, told reporters.
The violence only makes some Iraqis more determined to determine their country’s future:
“I didn’t care about this election, but when I saw this I went to vote,” said Raed Waleed, who helped pull people from the rubble. “I want to change the faces of the people who are responsible for all the problems in this country.”