Suicide attack at Iraq polls meet kills 25

Updated 07 April 2013

Suicide attack at Iraq polls meet kills 25

BAQUBA: A coordinated attack involving a suicide bomber at an open-air election campaign meeting in central Iraq killed 25 people yesterday, the latest in a spike in unrest two weeks before provincial polls.
The assault raises further questions over the credibility of the election, Iraq’s first since 2010, and comes some 10 years after the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein and aimed to usher in a stable democracy but instead unleashed brutal violence which continues to plague the country.
Supporters of Muthanna Ahmed Abdulwahid, a Sunni Arab candidate for the Azimun Ala Al-Bina (Determined to Build) party, a small local list, had been gathered at around lunchtime in the restive city of Baquba, 60 km north of Baghdad.
As they were meeting, a militant threw a grenade before a suicide bomber then blew himself up, a police colonel and a medic at Baquba hospital said.
At least 25 people were killed and 60 others were wounded, the officials said, though Abdulwahid appeared to have been unharmed.
Diyala province, of which Baquba is the capital, is among Iraq’s most violent — 560 people were killed there last year, according to Britain-based NGO Iraq Body Count, which said it suffered the highest per capita rate of civilian deaths in the country.
Also yesterday, a civilian was killed and two anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen were wounded in a bomb blast northwest of Baghdad, and security forces found the body of a policeman who had been kidnapped near the capital a day earlier.
Violence has spiked markedly ahead of the provincial elections, with 271 people killed in March, the highest such figure since August.


Oman’s expat exodus continues as country continues nationalization push

Updated 6 min 1 sec ago

Oman’s expat exodus continues as country continues nationalization push

  • The expat population in Oman stood at 1,747,844 in August
  • The new figure comes as the country continues to implement nationalization programs

DUBAI: More than 50,000 expatriates left Oman in August, national daily Time of Oman reported, citing government data.

The new figure comes as the country continues to implement nationalization programs, particularly integrating more Omanis into the country’s workforce.

According to the new census provided by the National Center for Statistics and Information, the expat population in Oman stood at 1,747,844 in August, which showed a decrease of 53,895 from the previous month.

More than 6,000 locals have been added to the country’s national population in the same period.

But the massive decline in the number of expats in Oman has resulted in a general 3.88 percent population dip – from 4,527,934 to 4,480,333 between August 2019 and 2020.

All governorates in Oman reported a decline in population, but Muscat, the country’s capital city, showed the drop at 6.2 percent, followed by the southern governorate of Dhofar with a 5.6 percent drop.