Scattered attacks as Iraqis vote - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Scattered attacks as Iraqis vote

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Amid massive security, Iraqis have been voting today in parliamentary elections -- braving the threat of bombs and other violence.
   Hundreds of thousands of police and troops were deployed to protect the first nationwide balloting since U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011.
   Still, there were some scattered attacks north and west of Baghdad, killing at least five people and wounding 16.
   The capital itself looked deserted, with police and soldiers manning checkpoints about 500 yards apart. Pickup trucks mounted with machine guns roamed the streets. Stores were closed, and many voters had to walk miles to the polls after authorities banned civilian vehicles to prevent car bombs. Voters were searched multiple times before being allowed into polling centers.
   Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee), who has held power for eight years, has faced growing criticism over government corruption and persistent bloodshed. His State of Law Party is expected to win the most seats in the parliament, but fall short of a majority. That would allow him to keep his post only if he can put together a coalition.
   Results are expected to start trickling in to election officials in the coming days.
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