Iraqis cast ballots in 2 Sunni-dominated provinces amid tight security measures
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 20, 2013 - 1:49 am EDT
BAGHDAD — Iraqi state TV says voters have begun casting ballots in two Sunni-dominated provinces amid tight security aimed at thwarting insurgent attempts to disrupt the elections.
Iraqi soldiers queue to vote at a polling center during early voting for security forces in the country's provincial elections in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, June 17, 2013. In the western town of Fallujah, a suicide bomber set off explosives among a group of policemen, killing three and wounding 21. The policemen were waiting for buses to take them to a polling station to cast their ballots for Iraq's provincial elections. (AP Photo)
The balloting comes amid rising sectarian tensions and deteriorating security in Iraq. The two provinces — Anbar and Ninevah — have been the scene of rallies against the Shiite-led government.
A vehicle ban was implemented in major cities in the provinces as voting got underway for candidates who will serve on provincial-level councils. Thousands of policemen and soldiers were deployed to secure Thursday's vote.
Iraqis voted in 12 other provinces two months ago. Officials had delayed elections in Anbar and Ninevah because of what they said were security concerns.
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