NASIRIYAH  - Eight members of one Iraqi family, including three woman and two children, were killed Thursday when an old mine brought home by one of their children exploded inside their house, police said. The incident occurred in the morning in al-Bataha, a rural area near Nasiriyah, about 350km south of Baghdad, Ali Siwan, a police officer with the city's bomb disposal unit, told AFP. "A child from this family found an old mine and was holding it and hitting the bomb and it exploded," said Siwan. One other family member was injured, he added. Meanwhile, Iraq postponed provincial elections due in October after MPs failed to agree the necessary legislation in time, in a blow to US-backed efforts to consolidate national reconciliation. "I can confirm to you that we have lost the chance to hold the elections in October," Qassem al-Aboudi, administrative director of Iraq's electoral commission, told AFP after a meeting with the United Nations. The polls were to be held on October 1, but the long-awaited legislation to govern the ballot has faced repeated delays over the political treatment of the disputed northern oil province of Kirkuk. Thursday's decision was a major setback for both Washington and the United Nations which viewed the ballot as critical to consolidating Iraq's fledgling political process and reconciling its deeply divided ethnic groups. "We cannot hold an election in October because we need three months to prepare for the polls after the election law is passed," commission member Hamdiya al-Husseinia said. Said Arikat, spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, told AFP that holding the election on time would now be "impossible" and that the outlook for an election at all this year was at best uncertain. "If the law is not passed in the next few days, it will be very, very difficult to hold the election before the end of the year," he said. US officials in Baghdad were not immediately available to comment. Parliament broke for summer recess on Wednesday without passing the contentious bill despite a new UN proposal which called for a year-long freeze on issues related to Kirkuk. The proposal, which called for the polls to be postponed in Kirkuk but go ahead as scheduled in Iraq's 17 other provinces, failed to win approval from various Arab and Turkmen factions. The United Nations suggested the elections in Kirkuk be delayed until December 2009, thus giving Iraq's various political factions time to hammer out new terms to a power-sharing arrangement for the region. Parliament speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani ordered MPs to continue working on the draft until the body reconvenes on September 9, but factional infighting had long cast doubt on the passage of the law. "It was clear since July that it would be impossible to hold the election in October," Arikat said.