Paramilitary troops secure southwestern regions in Kirkuk, ahead of elections

Soldiers of al-Hashd al-Shaabi.

Baghdad ( The pro-government paramilitary troops have announced securing southern western region in Kirkuk province ahead of parliamentary elections.

A statement by the media service of al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) said, “troops started today security southwestern Kirkuk regions too secure the voting process.”

Special voting in the parliamentary elections started on Thursday in Baghdad and Iraqi provinces for security personnel.

The election is considered the first since victory was declared against Islamic State last year. It’s also the second since U.S. troops withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. Moreover, it’s the fourth time to hold elections since former president Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Nearly 7,000 candidates are running for 329 seats in elections.

On Wednesday, the troops announced being on high alert ahead of the elections.

The Iraqi parliamentary elections is scheduled to take place on May 12. The elections were originally scheduled for September 2017, but were delayed due to the country’s fight against Islamic State.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi announced, in December, full liberation of Iraqi lands, declaring end of war against IS members. IHowever, slamic State continues to launch sporadic attacks across Iraq against security troops. Security reports indicate that the militant group still poses threat against stability in the country.

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