Iraq sees 60% voter turnout despite violence

Published May 1st, 2014 - 06:27 GMT

On Wednesday, some 60 percent of more than 20 million eligible Iraqis went to the polls to choose new MPs for the country’s 328-seat legislative body, said Muqdad al-Shuraifi, a senior election commission member at a press conference in the capital Baghdad.

Army and police personnel cast their ballots on Monday to provide security for the voters on the election day.

The election was held despite threats by al Qaeda-linked militants who had warned of ruining the election process.

Vote counting has been underway after polls closed earlier in the day.

Iraq has witnessed a surge in deadly attacks, including bombings and shootings, in recent months.

Iraqis went to polls at a time when troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, are fighting al Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country’s western regions, including Anbar province.

Iraq’s Interior Ministry has said Takfiri militants have launched an open war in the Middle Eastern country and they want to push it into chaos.

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