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Iraqis to vote in first parliament elections since US withdrawal

At least 9,000 candidates are competing over the Iraqi parliament's 328 seats in the country's first legislative elections since US troops withdrew three years ago.


Nearly 21 million of the country's 35 million Iraqis are expected to cast their vote after expatriate Iraqis, members of the security forces, the sick, prisoners and displaced people cast their votes earlier in the week.

Polling began at 07:00 local time (04:00 GMT) and closes at 18:00.

The Baghdad Operations Command arm of the Iraqi army announced all entrances to the capital closed on Tuesday evening, while the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority closed the country's six airports as of midnight on Tuesday until Wednesday evening when polling stations are due to close.

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