The polls were open in Iraq, where provincial elections that are considered a crucial test of the nation's stability were being held Saturday. According to the AP, security was extremely tight. Traffic was banned in central Baghdad and other major cities and border crossings and airports were closed.
In the early morning, three mortar shells have exploded near a polling station in Tikrit, about 80 miles north of Baghdad.
More than 14,000 candidates were running for 440 seats on the councils in almost all of Iraq's provinces. But they were not voting in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region or the province that includes oil-rich Kirkuk, where ethnic groups have not been able to reach a power-sharing agreement.
Results are not expected for several days.