Iraq’s first election since US withdrawal is beset by violence
Some 22 million Iraqis are registered to vote in 50,000 polling stations across the country for a new parliament, with 160 people killed in the past week alone in terrorist attacks. The al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, which claimed the attacks, has banned voting in the western Anbar province it controls and the Sunni towns of Ramadi and Falluja. Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, hoping for a third term, voted in the fortified Green Zone government center of Baghdad, which is in lockdown against attack. More than 9,000 candidates are competing for 328 parliamentary seats.