Ballot box storage site catches fire in Baghdad: officials

A storage site in Baghdad housing ballot boxes from Iraq’s May parliamentary election has caught fire and first responders are attempting to control it, a local official and the interior ministry said on Sunday.

The ballot boxes are part of a manual recount of votes from the May election, mandated in a law passed by the Iraqi parliament on Wednesday.

“The storage spaces housing all the ballot boxes from al-Rusafa belonging to the election commission are now on fire,” said Baghdad province council member Mohamed al-Rabeei. “Civil defense forces are on the way but I can tell you all the boxes and papers have burned.”

Rusafa is a district of Baghdad on the eastern side of the river Tigris. An interior ministry spokesman said the fire had destroyed some documents and equipment but civil defense forces were trying to prevent it from spreading to ballot boxes.

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