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Iraq Announces Border Closures, Curfew Before Polls


Iraq says it will close its borders and extend curfew hours as part of an extensive security plan to foil insurgent attacks during Thursday's parliamentary elections.

The Interior Ministry says the curfews will begin Tuesday and last until Saturday. During that time, road travel will be restricted to vehicles with special permits. All airports will be closed from Wednesday to Friday.

A coalition of Shi'ite religious parties is expected to win the biggest bloc of seats in the new legislature. But analysts predict that no party will win an outright majority, and that a coalition of Shi'ites and Kurds will likely govern.

The polls will be the first under the constitution ratified in October in a national referendum.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says an American soldier was killed Sunday when a roadside bomb exploded near his patrol in western Baghdad.

Some information for thisr eport provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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