Thursday, December 15, 2005

Iraqis Vote

8:57 Baghdad Time
The polls have been open for about two hours now in Iraq. There are reports of a large explosion near the Green Zone in Baghdad, attributed to a mortar shell, and a roadside bomb near Ramadi. No reports of injuries. No reports yet about voter turnout, though pre-election polls indicate it will be heavy.
9:21 Baghdad Time
Fox reports mortar rounds landing outside the Green Zone in the past few minutes, but no reports of injuries. Their correspondent says that authorities expect about 10 million Iraqis to vote today (out of 15 million eligible). Turnout has been light so far, which is attributed to many Iraqis waiting to see if the polling places will be secure. Most are expected to wait several hours before venturing out to vote.
10:35 Baghdad Time
Reports of sporadic violence in Mosul and Tikrit, with a poll worker killed by a bomb planted near a school. However, the lack of cable news coverage is a telltale that things are quiet overall, though it may be that the spectacular events threatened by al Qaeda will come later in the day, when more people are at the polls.