Iraq election candidate kidnapped as attacks kill 16

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Militants kidnapped an Iraqi election candidate Sunday as attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed 16 people and officials prepared to announce the results of last month’s vote.

The latest unrest is part of a year-long surge in bloodshed that has fuelled fears Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian conflict that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007, AFP reports.

In the northern Baghdad neighborhood of Jamila, gunmen opened fire on Rahman Abdulzahra al-Jazairi early on Sunday morning while he was near his home, wounding his father and brother, police said.

The militants then snatched Jazairi, the general secretary of Hezbollah Warithun, an offshoot of the main Hezbollah party in Iraq.

Jazairi’s party is not expected to win any seats in parliament following the April 30 vote, the results of which are due to be released later Sunday or on Monday, election commission officials say.

Elsewhere on Sunday, attacks killed 16 people in and around Baghdad and north of the capital in the restive provinces of Salaheddin and Nineveh, security and medical officials said, the latest in a surge of bloodshed that has left more than 3,500 people dead this year.

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