Attacks Mar Iraq Election, Kill 25
But Iraqis resolute in turnout in historic vote
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 7, 2010 5:54 AM CST
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki holds up an ink-marked finger as he casts his ballot in the Iraqi parliamentary election at a polling station in the Green Zone in Baghdad, Sunday, March 7, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ali Abbas, Pool)
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(Newser) – Iraqis voted today in an election testing the mettle of the country's still-fragile democracy as insurgents killed 25 people, unleashing a barrage of mortars intent on disrupting the historic day. About 19 million Iraqis are eligible to vote for who will lead the country after US forces pull out, in an election that will determine whether Iraq can overcome the jagged sectarian divisions that have defined it since the US-led invasion in 2003.

"These acts will not undermine the will of the Iraqi people," Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said this morning. Despite the violence and frustration that has set in after years of fighting and faulty government services, many Iraqis were still excited to vote. In Nasiriyah, crowds filled the streets—men in their best clothes were accompanied by women in long black cloaks and often children. "I voted in 2005. There were a lot less people then," said one man. "Today participation is much higher."