Sunday, January 30, 2005


All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. An initial estimate of turnout from the Independent Electoral Commission indicated that 72 percent of eligible Iraqi voters had turned out to cast their ballots.

"I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me," said Hassan, 32, propping himself up on worn metal crutches as he queued in Baghdad's working class district of Hurriya, a mixed Sunni and Shia neighbourhood near the old city.

"Today I am voting for peace. It is the only way, we must vote against them," he added.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqis danced and clapped with joy Sunday as they voted in their country’s first free election in a half-century, defying insurgents who launched deadly suicide bombings and mortar strikes at polling stations. Attacks across the country killed at least 31 people.

Update: Check out aerial photos of Iraqis in the streets on their way to vote from the milblog Beef always wins (thanks to Captain's Quarters for pointing me toward Beef always wins).