Buildings destroyed in nine months of urban war in Mosul, Iraq, January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ari Jalal
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Election posters plastered on the bullet-riddled wall of a girls' school in the Old City of Iraq's Mosul pledge a better future for those casting their ballot at a nationwide vote. But the scenes of devastation that surround them almost 10 months after Daesh (ISIS) was forced from the country's second city belie the hopeful claims.The scars left from the months of grueling fighting it took to oust Daesh from Mosul – the Iraqi capital of their so-called "caliphate" – are still visible all over the city.The prize is an attractive one and 938 hopefuls are vying for power in Ninevah province, where some 80 percent of the 2.3 million registered voters live in Mosul.At the last elections in 2014 – just before Daesh seized control – only 50 percent of voters in the city cast their ballots, with many put off by threats made by militants.As a sign of the upheavals in the province since the last vote, this time round some 75 percent of candidates are newcomers and the traditional Sunni parties have changed their names to avoid past associations.
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