Voters in Iraq have been casting their ballots in the second parliamentary elections since Saddam Hussein was ousted in 2003.
Troops have been deployed in massive numbers in an effort to prevent attackers from disrupting the election.
But violence erupted almost immediately after polling stations opened. Militants had threatened to disrupt the poll distributing leaflets warning voters not to turn out.
Dozens of mortars were fired in Baghdad where two apartment blocks collapsed. There were also roadside bomb blasts and mortar attacks in several other cities.
Security has been intense, with around 500,000 personnel deployed to prevent attacks. Even so, in Falluja, two bomb blasts were reported near a polling station.
US soldiers were on standby to help Iraqi security forces but appeared to have had a quiet day.
Many voters remained defiant, and Iraq's Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki told the BBC the violence should not deter people from exercising their democratic right at the polls.
Some 19 million Iraqis were eligible to elect 325 members of parliament. Polls closed at 1700 (1400 GMT) except to allow people already in line to vote. A steady turnout was reported in a number of different cities.
Vote counting was expected to take a week or more and negotiations between parties to form a government could take longer still.
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