Iraqis vote in their millions
The Iraqi people have been out voting in their millions in the first elections since 2005 when most Sunni Muslims boycotted the vote.
Despite a number of candidates being killed over the last few days the elections themselves have gone off relatively peacefully.
Attacks from terrorist groups including al-Qaeda had been expected as they are opposed to the elections taking place at all.
Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki hailed what he said looked like an enthusiastic turnout and called for Iraqis to cast their votes.
Hopes are high that the election will show extremists have been losing ground and that democracy is starting to take root.
It is hoped that Saturday's vote will be starkly different to 2005 when Sunnis largely boycotted the first election held since the fall of Saddam Hussein and extremist Shia parties did well.
Although today's election is for power at a local level in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces, it is also expected to be a referendum on Mr al-Maliki's leadership with candidates supporting him expected to do well.
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