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Iraq election: Purple fingers, but hard work ahead

Despite attacks, triumphant moments unfolded across the country as Iraqis dipped their fingers in purple ink and cast ballots in the Iraq election. Results and voter turnout are not expected for at least another day.

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A young Iraqi girl asked for her finger to be inked even though she was too young to vote in this Iraq election. Iraqis voted in Sunday's election as insurgents killed 38 people across the country, unleashing a barrage of mortars intent on disrupting the historic day.

Ahmed al-Hussainey/AP

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Throughout Iraq, fear gave way to defiance Sunday as voters, even in the most volatile areas, cast ballots in landmark parliamentary elections that militants tried their best to disrupt with dozens of explosions that shook Baghdad even before the polls opened.

By the end of the day, at least 38 people were dead and more than 80 were wounded throughout the country, Iraqi authorities said, including 25 casualties in a Baghdad apartment building that collapsed on sleeping families in an early-morning blast.

The despair at the scenes of violence stood in stark contrast to triumphant moments that unfolded elsewhere as Iraqis dipped their fingers in purple ink and cast ballots in elections that were billed as the first organized and secured by Iraqis since the US-led invasion of 2003.

EDITORIAL: High stakes, shaky hopes for Iraq election

"It's in the Iraqi nature to rise to a challenge, and we were challenged," said Younis Gomar, the head of a polling center in Baghdad.

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