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Iraq forms investigative panel to identify cause of ballot storage facility fire

A fire truck arrives at the scene of a blaze Sunday at a warehouse in Baghdad storing ballots from Iraq’s parliamentary elections. (Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images)


Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – The Iraqi Interior Ministry has formed an investigative panel to probe the cause of a fire that engulfed a ballot storage facility in Baghdad yesterday, a well-informed source was quoted as saying Monday.

“The panel was ordered to find out circumstances of the blaze that broke out at a depot used for storing electronic voting machines and ballot papers in the Rasafa district of Baghdad,” Iraqi website Alghad Press quoted the source as saying without giving further details.

Iraqi firefighters contained yesterday a huge fire that engulfed an election ballot warehouse in the Rasafa district of Baghdad, a move that represents a further setback for the already-mired electoral process in the country.

Major General Kazem Bouhan, the director of the Interior Ministry’s Civil Defense Directorate, said “a blaze that broke out at a depot, where ballots from parliamentary elections were being stored, has been successfully controlled.”

The fire came at a critical time as a full manual recount of votes was due to take place soon following allegations of electoral fraud in the parliamentary elections, besides other violations.


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