Iraq to close airports and border crossings during election

A man walks past a campaign poster of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ahead of the parliamentary election, in Najaf, Iraq May 3, 2018. Picture taken May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani


Iraqi authorities said Wednesday they will close the country’s borders and airspace for 24 hours over an upcoming parliamentary election as they seek to impose a security lockdown.

The measures running throughout Saturday are similar to ones applied during previous nationwide polls in the conflict-wracked nation.

Some 24.5 million Iraqi voters are registered to cast their ballots in the fourth parliamentary vote since the 2003 toppling of dictator Saddam Hussein.

The poll comes just five months after Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State group, following a brutal campaign to push the extremists out of the country.

ISIS has threatened to target the elections but the run-up to the vote has seen a lull in violence across Iraq.

Source: Al Arabiya

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