Millions of Iraqis vote amid tight security

Millions of Iraqis have gone to polls on Saturday in the country’s first election in four years. Security was tight, and no one had been reported injured or killed.

Protected by armed police and barbed wire, Iraqis voted at polling stations to elect new provincial councils, widely seen as a test of the country’s stability as the U.S. role in Iraq diminishes.

More than 14,000 candidates, including about 3,900 women, are competing for 440 seats in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accompanied by a bodyguard, dipped his finger into an ink box after voting in the walled Green Zone enclave in Baghdad.

“This gives a picture of trust in the government, the elections and the people’s right to take part in this democratic process,” he said.

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