March 2010 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of March 2010.
- Violence Mars Election in Iraq (Mar. 7): Explosions marked general election day in Iraq, where two bombs killed at least 38 people. Iraq's election commission reports that 62% of Iraqis voted in the election, though that number drops to just 53% in Baghdad, where the violence occurred. Final results are not expected for several weeks, but preliminary figures put the State of Law alliance, led by Prime Minister Maliki, and the Iraqi National Movement, headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, in a close race ahead of the other candidates. Election officials said none of the alliances will emerge with a clear majority, forcing the winner to assemble a broad coalition to form a government. The glacial pace of the vote count was attributed to a painstaking process intended to reduce the risk of election fraud. (Mar. 29): Final results of the election give the Iraqi National Movement, led by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, 91 seats in Parliament out of 325. The State of Law alliance, headed by Prime Minister Maliki comes in a close second with 89 seats. A Shia religious movement, including followers of radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, wins 70. The two main Kurdish parties together receive 43 seats. Maliki refuses to accept the results and says he will challenge them in court.
- U.S. Defense Department Contracted Killers in Middle East (Mar. 14): A Defense Department official set up a network of contractors to track and kill militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The official, Michael Furlong, hired contractors from private companies that employ former CIA operatives and had them track suspected militants in the Middle East. They were then told whether or not those militants should be killed.
- U.S., Russia Have Breakthrough in Arms Negotiations (Mar. 24): The United States and Russia report a breakthrough in arms control negotiations. Both countries agree to lower the limit on deployed strategic warheads and launchers by 25% and 50%, respectively, and will also implement a new inspection regime. President Obama and President Medvedev will sign in a treaty that outlines this agreement. A signing ceremony is planned for April 8 in Prague.
- Female Suicide Bombers Kill 39 in Russian Subway Stations (Mar. 29): Two female suicide bombers, acting just minutes apart, detonate bombs in two Moscow subways stations, killing at least 39 people. This is the first terrorist attack in the capital city since 2004, when Moscow experienced a string of deadly violence. Authorities attribute the attacks to the mostly Muslim north Caucasus region. Doku Umarov, a former Chechen separatist and the self-proclaimed emir of the north Caucasus, claims responsibility for masterminding the attack. (Mar. 31): Two explosions kill 12 people in the north Caucasus region of Dagestan. The attacks prompt concern that Prime Minister Putin will crack down on civil liberties and democracy as he did in 2004, following the siege of a school in Beslan.