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Iraqi Vote II

Against violent backdrop, Iraqis turn out to vote
Attacks on polling stations kill 44, including 9 suicide bombers
The Associated Press
Updated: 2:27 p.m. ET Jan. 30, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - More Iraqis than anticipated defied threats of violence and calls for a boycott to cast ballots Sunday in Iraq's first free election in a half-century. The violence continued unabated, however, with insurgent attacks on polling stations killing at least 44 people, including nine suicide bombers.

Optimism about the vote was tempered by low turnout among Sunni Muslims, which could undermine the new government and worsen tensions among the country’s ethnic, religious and cultural groups.

President George Bush, speaking on Sunday from the White House, said the Iraqis had made the election "a resounding success."
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