Reporter’s Notebook: Polling stations targeted
FRANCE 24’s Lucas Menget is back in Baghdad to cover Sunday’s parliamentary elections in what was once the land of the classic “The Arabian Nights”. Below find the reporter’s notebook from his time in the Iraqi capital.
Thursday, March 4
The insurgents showed they can still make their opinion heard, and that they can make their point with firepower. This morning, they fired a rocket into a school which was set to serve as a polling station Sunday. The school was not empty, and four children died.
At the same time as this tragic attack, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives-packed belts near another polling station where Iraqi security officials were lined up to cast their votes ahead of polling day. A total of 14 people died. It goes to show that, despite all the best efforts of the security services and police, if a suicide bomber decides to blow himself up, there is very little that anyone can do.
Despite this, people are smiling. In the face of all the adversity, they are proud to have the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights. This pride is tangible in the streets of the city. It seems that despite the best efforts of the extremists, nothing will stop the Iraqis from heading to the polls.