Security Tightens Ahead of Iraq Election

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Tens of thousands of military personnel and police are being deployed around polling sites in Iraq ahead of the March seventh parliamentary elections.

Security officials are closing roads, restricting vehicle movements, and implementing a curfew after ten pm.

The heightened security presence was put in place well ahead of the actual election date, says Abbass al-Hakim, who is in charge of polling station number six in central Baghdad.

[Abbass al-Hakim, Head of a Polling Station]:
"Actually, the security forces started preparations to protect the polling stations ten days ago. The security forces have been trained, so that they are ready to protect the polling stations on the day of the election. God willing, we hope all the best during the election."

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has campaigned for re-election on promises to improve security.

Failure to ensure safety on election day could be seen as an inability to keep that promise.

Violence has declined in Iraq in recent years, but al-Qaeda linked militants have recently renewed attacks in Baghdad and have vowed to stop the election at all costs.

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