A double suicide bombing and other attacks killed 12 people in Iraq on Monday, said officials, while Iraqi legislators passed a law laying the groundwork for next year’s parliamentary elections.
In a statement issued on Monday, Iraq’s Vice President Khudeir al-Khuzaie set April 30, 2014, as the date for the next national elections. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has not ruled out seeking a third term next year despite charges from opponents that his administration is a dictatorship in the making.
In the evening, Iraq’s parliament passed legislation to govern those elections. It increased the number of seats to 328 from the current 325, but otherwise was little different than the previous elections law.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb hit two civilian cars near the town of Taji some 20 kilometers north of Baghdad, killing four and wounding three. Police said the road was often used by military convoys.
In the northern town of Hawija, two police officers were killed and seven wounded when two suicide bombers set off their explosive belts at the police station gate.
Gunmen opened fire on a group of government employees waiting for their bus in the northern city of Mosul, killing three people. Also in Mosul, gunmen using pistols with silencers shot dead a judge in a restaurant.
In the northern suburbs of Baghdad, officials said, two soldiers were killed by a hand grenade at a security checkpoint.
Medical officials confirmed all casualty figures. All officials spoke anonymously as they weren’t authorized to release information.
The latest attacks came two days after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki returned from a trip to Washington in which he sought assistance fighting the insurgency, including weapons and help with intelligence.
President Barack Obama pledged on Friday to help combat an increasingly active al-Qaida in Iraq but stopped short of announcing new commitments of the assistance Mr. al-Maliki sought.
Mr. Al-Maliki’s trip sparked criticism in Iraq, where he faces discontent from across the sectarian divide. Shiites are upset with his failure to provide security, and Sunnis are angry at their perceived second-class citizen treatment.
Violence has spiked in Iraq since April. U.N. figures released last week showed that at least 979 people, mostly civilians, were killed last month alone.