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Iraq in first vote since US troop withdrawal

Iraq in first vote since US troop withdrawal
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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has cast his vote in the country’s first provincial election since the departure of US troops.

Voting has been marred by violence with reports that a dozen small bombs have exploded and mortar rounds fired at polling stations across Iraq.

Authorities say around four people have been injured.

Security is tight as more than 8,000 candidates battle for 450 seats on provincial councils.

Iraqi politics is split along sectarian lines with the Shi’ite majority government in crisis over how to share power with Sunnis and Kurds.

More that a dozen candidates, mostly Sunnis, have been killed during the campaign.

Iraqis remain frustrated by the unemployment, lack of infrastructure and corruption more than a decade after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein

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