AP PHOTOS: Iraq votes in first parliamentary election since withdrawal of US troops

The Associated Press

A man and his wife show their inked fingers after casting their votes for parliamentary elections at a polling in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Iraq is holding its third parliamentary elections since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. More than 22 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots to choose 328 lawmakers out of more than 9,000 candidates. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)

Associated Press + More

BAGHDAD (AP) — As violence rages on, Iraq voted Wednesday in its first parliamentary election since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.

Many Iraqis increasingly complain of government corruption and the failure to rebuild the economy after years of war following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. However, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law party is widely expected to win the most seats in the 328-member parliament. Experts doubt the party will win a majority, however.

The vote comes as the death toll in Iraq last year climbed to its highest levels since the worst of the sectarian bloodshed in 2006 and 2007. The United Nations says 8,868 people were killed in 2013, and about 2,000 people were killed in the first three months of this year alone.

High-profile attacks have killed dozens in the days leading up to the vote, but security forces largely closed down the capital, Baghdad, on Wednesday. Authorities declared a weeklong holiday around the vote as well.

Here is a series of Associated Press images of the voting in Iraq.


Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.