Iraq votes for first time since US departure
Iraqis vote in provincial elections, the first ballots held in the country since American troops withdrew in late 2011 (AFP)
The run up to the elections was marred by poltical violence but millions of Iraqis turned out for Saturday's vote.
It was the first time Iraqi security forces took charge of a ballot since American troops invaded the country in 2003.
Violence has escalated throughout the election cycle, with dozens of people killed in bomb attacks, mostly in Shia neighbourhoods. Fourteen candidates, most of them Sunni, have been killed in the run-up. The Shia-led government postponed elections in two Sunni-dominated provinces.
On polling day itself, violence was limited to a handful of attacks at voting stations, including mortar rounds a nd small bombs that injured four people, according to the BBC.
As many as 14 million Iraqis were eligible for Saturday's vote, with turnout expected to be around the 50% mark, according to an official, quoted by Retuers.
- Iraq election day marred by blasts
- Polls open in Iraq for first parliamentary vote since U.S. troop withdrawal
- For first time since the downfall of Baghdad, Iraq's economy is set to shrink
- Iraq: 14, including two US civilians, die as time runs out for kidnapped American journalist
- For the first time since February: U.S., British planes bomb Iraqi air defense systems