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May 26, 2018

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Iraq: Armed men trap election workers in Kirkuk, block count

Updated Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | 7:31 a.m.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's election commission says armed men have trapped election workers inside their offices and blocked the vote count in the northern city of Kirkuk, an oil hub at the heart of a long-running dispute with the Kurds.

Elections commissioner Riad al-Badran told a press conference Wednesday that the affiliation of the armed men was not known. He called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to protect the election team.

He says results from 186 ballot boxes remain uncounted from Kirkuk, which has seen elevated tensions since federal forces seized the city from Kurdish control last year.

Al-Badran says 90 percent of votes from Kirkuk have been counted.

Several parties complained of fraud after Iraq held nationwide parliamentary elections on Saturday.