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  • Monday, January 31, 2005

    Violence kept Ramadi residents away from polls

    Insurgents' threats keep Ramadi residents from voting

    Before the explosion, 75 people — including Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq poll workers and special police commandos protecting the site — had voted at the school in eastern Ramadi, U.S. military officials said. At midmorning, the nearby streets had been full of curious residents watching voters walk to the polling station. After the explosion and gunfire, the streets were deserted and no other voters came. Ramadi’s 400,000 residents were subject of a harassment campaign by insurgents, who promised death to anyone who voted Sunday. At another polling site in the Sofiya district of Ramadi, the polls were more active. More than 100 people had voted by early afternoon, officials said. There were eight polling stations in the city of Ramadi, U.S. and Iraqi officials said, and they estimated that about 1,000 people cast ballots during the day.
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