Iraqi ballot box storage site catches fire in Baghdad

A fire has hit Iraq's biggest ballot paper warehouse that was being used to store votes ahead of a recount.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called the fire "a plot to harm the nation and its democracy". He said Baghdad will take all necessary measures, and pledged an iron fist policy against those who undermine the country's security.

The cause of the fire, in Baghdad's eastern Al Russafa district, was not immediately clear.

Videos shared on social media showed civil firefighters removing ballot boxes from the site.

The SJC convened on Sunday to name the judges and to meet with officials from the electoral commission to "understand how it works and get a briefing on the nature of complaints it received regarding the 2018 legislative elections", the statement said.

Intelligence services say that tests of electronic voting machines produced varied results, implying the tools may be unreliable.

The announcement came a few days after Abadi ordered the creation of a high-powered commission to look into the alleged irregularities in the parliamentary elections.

The Saeroon Alliance led by al-Sadr, the Shia who many U.S. military officials hold responsible for the deaths of USA troops, won by taking the most number of seats.

Abadi's government on Tuesday said an investigation found serious violations and blamed the elections commission for a lot of them.

Trump arrives in Singapore ahead of unprecedented US-North Korea summit
The president told reporters that it's "so far, so good" as he headed into what he called "unknown territory in the truest sense". Kim's personality profile then may well focus into the strategy for the summit, as will Trump's own attitude on the encounter.

The bloc of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, which won the most seats in the election, boycotted the vote. One of Sadr's top aides expressed concern that some parties were trying to sabotage the cleric's victory.

Opponents of the recount have pointed out that many of those who voted for it lost seats in the election.

"Whoever burned the election equipment and document storage site had two goals: either cancelling the election or destroying the stuffed ballots counted amongst the results", he tweeted, suggesting some were trying to sabotage Sadr's gains.

Jabouri's call was seconded by Vice President Iyad Allawi, the leader of the electoral alliance Jabouri ran as part of.

Baghdad is Iraq's most populous province, accounting for 71 seats out of the Iraqi parliament's 329. "The majority of the ballot boxes have been kept in the other three storehouses where the fire has not traveled".

Interior ministry spokesman General Saad Maan visited the scene and told reporters that "most of the ballot boxes were stored in another building and have been preserved".

On Wednesday, Iraq's outgoing parliament also sacked the nine-member independent commission which oversaw the polls, and on Sunday they were replaced by nine judges who would supervise the recount.

An official statement said a recent cabinet meeting chaired by the premier had named the Iraqi anti-graft chief as the head of the commission.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fox News host calls Trump a 'dictator' in TV gaffe
Jun 11, 2018 - 12:08
President Trump is set to meet Kim Jong-un for the first time at their summit on Tuesday on the resort island of Sentosa. I'll never claim to be a flawless human being. "I didn't mean to say that, my mistake, I apologize for that".

Gears of War 5 coming in 2019, stars Kait from Gears 4
Jun 11, 2018 - 12:00
If you went into Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference expecting Gears of War reveals, you certainly got them. The game is now in development by The Coalition and was announced with a story-centric reveal trailer.

Trudeau 'stabbed us in back' on trade, says Trump chief economic adviser
Jun 11, 2018 - 09:07
On Monday, Trump also renewed attacks on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau , who had hosted the G7 meeting in Quebec. Trump has infuriated the European Union, Canada and Mexico by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sebastian Vettel takes 50th win and F1 championship lead in Canada
Jun 11, 2018 - 08:32
The day was less positive for two-time world champion Fernando Alonso , who was celebrating his 300th Formula One race. He earned his first Formula One points with a ninth-place finish at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve previous year .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Administration Moves To Further Hobble Affordable Care Act
Jun 11, 2018 - 07:39
But that mandate was crucial to persuading insurers to offer plans under the ACA. "It's a cornerstone of what they do ", he says. Fifty-two million Americans with preexisting conditions are at risk or denial of coverage or higher premiums, wrote Timothy S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Prince Harry and Meghan Markle trip to New Zealand confirmed
Jun 11, 2018 - 07:23
Prince Philip, the Queen's husband, did not attend the event, having retired from public life a year ago . The ceremony culminates with a magnificent balcony appearance by the Royal Family.

Microsoft Announce New Halo: Infinite at E3 2018 Conference - Reveal Trailer
Jun 11, 2018 - 05:13
As for Compulsion, a new trailer was released for We Happy Few at today's conference, and the release date was announced . Forza Horizon 4 will be heading to Xbox One on 2nd October and will also be available on Xbox Games Pass.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dead at 68
Jun 11, 2018 - 04:44
He then played on their third album, Then Play On , released in September 1969, which reached #6 on the United Kingdom charts. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Donald Trump Withdraws Endorsement Of G7 Joint Statement
Jun 11, 2018 - 04:43
Trump to get angry, but quite another to ditch the agreement. "That's what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did". When asked if the president shares his views, Navarro said that the sentiment came from " Air Force One ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fans pay tribute to Bourdain at star's restaurant
Jun 11, 2018 - 04:17
But concerns about his well-being escalated the next morning, when he didn't show up for his usual breakfast with Ripert. Many celebrities have shared their heartbreak on social media including Top Chef host and judge, Padma Lakshmi.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top These Teams Are Favorites To Land LeBron Next Season
Jun 11, 2018 - 04:12
But I like to be here. "I can remember when I missed the playoffs six straight years and I kind of decided that I wanted to win". The possibility remains that Cleveland could retool and make another run, but doing so would require some serious creativity.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Judge temporarily blocks deportation of New York pizza worker
Jun 11, 2018 - 03:47
The day he was detained, Villavicencio was trying to deliver an order to the Fort Hamilton Army base in Brooklyn. A routine background check revealed there was a warrant for his arrest for immigration law violations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Galaxy Note 9 could come with a dedicated camera button
Jun 11, 2018 - 03:27
Both the new Galaxy J series smartphones will be made available in the USA via select retail and carrier partners from this month. The two Android smartphones made their debut on Thursday, June 7, and are set to go on sale in the United States in early June.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Actor Jackson Odell dies at 20
Jun 11, 2018 - 03:16
His film career included the 2011 children's film Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer . "He had so much more to share". The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed to Variety that he was found unresponsive at his residence on June 8.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Withdraws Endorsement Of G-7 Communique Over Trudeau Statements
Jun 11, 2018 - 02:19
Trump fired back after Trudeau's press conference , blasting the Canadian leader on Twitter as "very dishonest and weak ". The United States would not back off from its tough stance in negotiations with trading partners, Trump said.