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Iraq election: Fire hits Baghdad ballots ahead of recount

June 10, 2018 4:08 pm

A fire has hit Iraq’s biggest ballot paper storage depot ahead of a recount.

Votes for the eastern district of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, were being held in the building. It is not clear if any were destroyed or what caused the fire.

Last month’s legislative elections were won by an alliance headed by the populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.

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Amid allegations fraud, the outgoing parliament ordered a recount of about 10 million votes. It is unclear if this may affect the outcome.

Firefighters have been attempting to control the fire at the storage site, which housed ballot boxes of the al-Rusafa district in the east of Baghdad.

An interior ministry spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the blaze had destroyed some documents and equipment, but efforts were being made to stop it from affecting ballot boxes.

He said the blaze had been confined to one of the four warehouses.

However, Baghdad province council member Mohamed al-Rabeei told Reuters that “all the boxes and papers have burned”.

Iraqi authorities have not commented on whether they think the blaze was caused deliberately.

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