It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
BAGHDAD (Map, News) - Iraq imposed a nationwide security lockdown Friday before key regional elections with blanket measures not seen since the deadliest years of the insurgency, underscoring the high stakes for Iraqi leaders desperate to portray stability after nearly six years of conflict.
Although violence is sharply down - and with pre-election attacks relatively limited - authorities were unwilling to take any risks. They ordered cars off city streets, sealed borders and closed airports.
The top-to-bottom precautions show that the consequences run deeper than just the outcome of Saturday's ballots for 440 seats on influential provincial councils across Iraq.
Voting carried off without major attacks or charges of irregularities would give a critical boost for Iraqi authorities as the U.S. military hands over more responsibilities. But serious bloodshed or voting chaos could steal momentum from supporters of a fast-paced withdrawal of U.S. combat troops next year.