Yahoo! News - Voting held in Iraq's 1st free election in a half-century; 44 killed in attacks
Yahoo! News - Voting held in Iraq's 1st free election in a half-century; 44 killed in attacks: "BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqis embraced democracy in large numbers Sunday, standing in long lines to vote in defiance of mortar attacks, suicide bombers and boycott calls. Pushed in wheelchairs or carts if they couldn't walk, the elderly, the young and women in veils cast ballots in Iraq (news - web sites)'s first free election in a half-century.
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'We broke a barrier of fear,' Mijm Towirish, an election official said.
Uncertain Sunni turnout, a string of insurgent attacks that killed 44 and the crash of a British military plane underline the fact that chaos in Iraq isn't over yet.
Yet the mere fact the vote went off seemed to ricochet instantly around a world hoping for Arab democracy and fearing Islamic extremism.
'I am doing this because I love my country, and I love the sons of my nation,' said Shamal Hekeib, 53, who walked with his wife 20 minutes to a polling station near his Baghdad home.
'We are Arabs, we are not scared and we are not cowards,' Hekeib said. "