In pictures: Voters head to the polls for Iraq's parliamentary elections

Iraq's first election since the defeat of Islamic State is a critical step for a country that could have disappeared from the map amid the jihadists' onslaught. The Saturday vote was also a test of the regional influence wielded by Iran at a time when the U.S. is determined to rein it in.
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An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained index finger before a national flag after having cast her vote in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group, in the capital Baghdad's Karrada district on May 12, 2018. Polling stations opened at 7:00 am for the roughly 24.5 million registered voters to cast their ballots across the conflict-scarred nation.
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An Iraqi voter dips his finger in ink before casting his ballot at a poll station in the capital Baghdad's Karrada district on May 12, 2018, as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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Iraqi Shiite cleric and leader Moqtada al-Sadr (C-R) puts his ballot through an electronic counting machine into a ballot box at poll station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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Nechirvan Barzani (C-R), Prime Minister of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), holds his ballot as he prepares to cast his vote at a polling station in the regional capital Arbil on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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Members of the Iraqi security forces stand guard as people queue in front of a polling station in the Wadi Hajar district of Mosul on May 12, 2018, still partially in ruins from the devastating months-long fight to oust the Islamic State (IS) group. - Iraq began voting in its first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State group, with the country hoping to shore up a fragile peace and rebuild. Polling stations opened around the conflict-scarred nation under tight security as jihadists still pose a major security threat despite a sharp fall in violence.
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Iraqi women voters hold their biometric voting cards as they queue inside a poll station in the capital Baghdad's Karrada district on May 12, 2018, as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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A member of the Iraqi security forces stands guard as people queue in front of a polling station in the Wadi Hajar district of Mosul on May 12, 2018, still partially in ruins from the devastating months-long fight to oust the Islamic State (IS) group.
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A voter is inspected by a member of the Iraqi police upon arriving outside a poll station in the holy city of Karbala on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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An Iraqi voter has his biometric voting card checked with his fingerprint upon arriving at a poll station in the northern multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk on May 12, 2018, as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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An Iraqi Kurdish man dressed in traditional costume looks at the names on the electoral lists hung behind him before ticking his ballot behind a voting booth at a polling station in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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An Iraqi man shows his ink-stained index finger after voting at a polling station in the southern city of Basra on May 12, 2018. - Iraq headed to the polls for its first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State group, with the country hoping to shore up a fragile peace and rebuild.
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An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained index finger as she is helped on a wheelchair to leave a polling station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
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Iraqi voters read lists of candidates outside a polling station in the central holy city of Najaf on May 12, 2018 as the country votes in the first parliamentary election since declaring victory over the Islamic State (IS) group.
Sun 13 May 2018 12:20 PM GST
Last Updated: Sun 13 May 2018 01:05 PM GST