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Iraqis have voted in the first parliamentary election since the country declared victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group at the end of 2017.

Polls opened at 7am on Saturday and closed at 6pm (04:00 to 15:00 GMT). While the independent body overseeing the election projected a high turnout among the 24.5 million registered voters, participation appeared to be low.

The low turnout was partly blamed on a 24-hour curfew put in place by the government since midnight, which was partially lifted by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi later in the day

The election is taking place under tight security as the jihadists still pose a major security threat despite a sharp fall in violence.

The ballot comes with tensions surging between key players Iran and the United States over the nuclear deal, sparking fears of a destabilising power struggle over Iraq.

Roughly 24.5 million voters face a fragmented political landscape five months after IS were ousted, with the dominant Shiites split, the Kurds in disarray and Sunnis sidelined.

Source France 24, Al Jazeera