Iraq delays polls in two provinces for security reasons

Iraq's cabinet decided on Tuesday to postpone provincial elections in two provinces that were scheduled for April 20 by up to six months over security concerns, the Iraqi premier's spokesman said.

Polls in Anbar province in west Iraq and Nineveh in the north have been delayed, Ali Mussawi told AFP, noting that candidates have been threatened and killed, while there were also requests for a delay from the two provinces.

The announcement came as 34 people were killed in more than 20 attacks in Iraq on Tuesday, according to security and medical officials.

Several provincial elections candidates have also been killed in attacks in recent weeks.

It appeared that elections in the 12 other provinces where they were set to be held on April 20 would go ahead as scheduled.

While violence in Iraq has decreased from its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common, killing 220 people in February, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical sources.