United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls Iraqi voters courageous, and says the world must support them. 

Speaking in Nigeria, Mr. Annan described Sunday's election as the first step in a democratic process in Iraq.  He said Iraqis know they are voting for their country's future and for the day "when they will take their destiny in their own hands."

The secretary-general also appealed for an end to election-day violence.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.