BAGHDAD, June 13 (Reuters) – Four bombs exploded on Sunday at an entrance of the Iraqi central bank, killing at least two people and wounding six, a day before Iraq’s new parliament was due to hold its first session, police said.
Police said it was not clear yet if the attacks involved suicide bombers or car bombs. The blasts were timed to occur as employees of the Central Bank of Iraq were leaving work.
While violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of bloodshed in 2006/07, tensions have simmered since an inconclusive March 7 election that produced no outright winner.
A cross-sectarian alliance heavily backed by the once dominant Sunni minority won the most seats, but the country’s main Shi’ite factions have agreed to form the largest unified bloc in parliament, potentially giving them the muscle to claim the right to form a government.
Parliament meets on Monday, more than three months after the election, for its first session, but it is likely to still take weeks if not months for a deal on a government and a choice of prime minister.
The political vacuum coincides with a U.S. plan to end combat operations in August ahead of a full U.S. troop withdrawal by the end of 2011.
Suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents have sought to exploit the political uncertainty and to try to reignite broad sectarian warfare through bomb attacks and assassinations. The number of civilians killed in violence each month has climbed slowly but steadily since the March vote. (Writing by Michael Christie; Editing by Diana Abdallah)