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January 31, 2009
Saturday: 5 Iraqis Killed, 9 Wounded

Updated at 10:08 p.m. EST, Jan. 31, 2009

Due to the Iraqi elections, very little news of violence came out of the country. No major attacks were reported thanks to a security clampdown. In some cities, citizens are banned from being on the streets unless they are traveling to a polling station. These conditions also make it difficult for smaller reports of violence to make it into the media; however, at least five Iraqis were killed and nine more were wounded during an attack.

Thousands of Iraqi, in particular Kurds, complained that they were denied to the right to vote. Other reported acts of intimidation.

In Tuz Khormato, a roadside bomb injured seven policemen. A civilian was killed during a shootout that followed the blast.

U.S. forces killed two Iraqi policemen who were guarding a checkpoint in southern Mosul. A spokesperson said that the troops were searching for a wanted man nearby when they came under attack.

A civilian was wounded during a sniper attack on a polling station in Sadr City. The station was forced to close. A car accident involving members of rival tribes ignited a firefight; one person was killed and another was wounded. One lawmaker reported that a military officer fired upon voters who were chanting slogans, injuring two of them; a military spokesman accused the pair of trying to smuggle cellphones into the polling station and said that one had died.

Baghdad Operations Command reported no incidents in Baghdad, so they will lift the curfew tomorrow.

Mortars fell near a polling station in Tikrit, but no one was hurt. Mortars fell in other parts of the city as well. A bomb near a voting center was defused safely.

A political candidate was arrested in Kifl for "garnering support for his slate," which is an elections law offense.

Fallujah will remain under a curfew until all election related activities are completed.

Two persons were arrested for distributing election related materials in Karbala.

The vehicle ban was lifted in Basra, but there were complaints that the Iranian consul-general walked through several polling stations in an effert to intimidate voters.

A vehicle ban was lifted in Hilla.

Five suspects were arrested for planning an attack on a polling station near Mandali.

Prime Minister Maliki ordered border guards to transfer ballot boxes in Najaf, after problems arose during early elections.

Fourteen people were arrested for distributing campaign materials in Muthanna province.

U.N.envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, hopes that the election will encourage Kirkuk to hold its own elections. Voting was postponed in Kirkuk because lawmakers could not settle on a power-sharing scheme that would please all ethnicities.

 

Compiled by Margaret Griffis

 
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