Iraq on Lockdown for Elections

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Iraq has begun implementing tight security measures on the eve of its nationwide provincial elections.

The measures include sealing off its borders, stopping air traffic, and setting overnight curfews for some of the nation's largest cities.

"The air and land borders will be sealed, but there will be no restriction on people's movements within the city," said Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf.

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More than 14,000 candidates have thrown their hats in the ring to compete for 440 seats in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces.

Still Battling Al Qaeda

Meanwhile, Iraq and U.S. forces continue to wage war against al Qaeda in Mosul, despite the hefty security gains made in Baghdad and other cities.

Insurgents fled to the area following the security crackdowns in other cities.

The lockdown, Police officer Col. Safaa Abdul-Razzaq explained, was imposed to discourage any potential violence.

While U.S. forces will be helping out with security, theirs will be a sideline role. Still, the U.S. military plans to patrol the streets heavily on the day of voting.

Source: The Associated Press

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