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Iraqi polling stations close, amid good turnout in north

BAGHDAD, April 30 (KUNA) -- Iraqi legislative election polling stations closed Wednesday at six o'clock (local time) on schedule, amid reports of good turnout and participation in the northern Kurdistan province.
As Iraqis took part in the first elections since the withdrawal of US troops from the country at the end of 2011, a series of bombings and shootings struck polling centers in eastern and northern provinces, leaving at least 10 dead and 22 wounded.
Howevr, turnout in Kurdistan, which has a total of 2.71 million eligible voters, was described by the Independent High Electoral Commission as "incomparable".
As for preliminary results, they will be later distributed on banners on the walls of each polling station, added the commission.
Earlier at mid-day, the commission announced a 34 percent voting turnout out of the 20 million Iraqis eligible to vote for a new parliament.
The voting process had been held under the assessment of the United Nations, with the Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq Nikolay Mladenov telling reporters, at a polling center in central Baghdad, that only through high participation can the Iraqi people ensure that they have a say in the future of the country. (pickup previous) ahh.sbr.mb