Mortar, bomb attacks near polling stations in north of Baghdad 2009-01-31 16:16:15   Print

Special Report: Tension escalates in Iraq

    TIKRIT, Iraq, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Four mortars and a roadside bomb explosion targeted polling stations in the city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province and home of toppled ex-president Saddam Hussein, a provincial police source said Saturday.

    Four mortar rounds landed near a polling station in the city and a roadside bomb went off at a marketplace also close to a polling station in central Tikrit, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    The attacks took place as local residents were heading to vote in the country's landmark provincial elections, the source said.

    There are no immediate reports about casualties by the blasts, the source added.

    Early on Saturday, about 42,000 polling stations in 14 out of Iraq's 18 provinces opened their doors for some 15 million Iraqis who have been called to cast their votes to elect members of provincial councils.

    The voting is underway amid tight security measures, including traffic bans in central Baghdad and other major cities and closure of border crossings and airports.

    The election is the first vote in the country since 2005. More than 14,400 candidates, about 3,900 of them women, are competing for 444 seats of the councils.    


Iraq's provincial election begins

    BAGHDAD, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Millions of Iraqis went to polling stations in 14 out of Iraq's 18 provinces on Saturday morning to cast ballots in the war-torn country's important provincial elections.

    Early at 7:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) about 42,000 polling stations opened their doors for the voters, who each will emerge with one finger swiped with purple ink as a proof of voting. Full story

Editor: Han Jingjing
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