A voter shows her ink-stained finger at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Baghdad April 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili)
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Iraqis defied a rash of attacks that killed 14 people Wednesday and voted in the first general elections since U.S. troops withdrew, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki proclaiming "certain" victory.Around 60 percent of the country's 20 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the poll, which was hailed by the United States and United Nations as a rebuke to jihadists who sought to derail the parliamentary elections. Two different elections unfolded across Iraq Wednesday: one in predominantly Shiite areas of the country, where people were voting for the figure they thought best suited to defeat the Al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS); the other in Sunni regions and neighborhoods in Baghdad, where people fear both the Shiite-led security forces and ISIS.Iraqis complain of myriad grievances, from poor public services to rampant corruption and high unemployment, but the monthlong campaign has hinged on Maliki's bid for a third term and dramatically deteriorating security.
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