Gunmen besiege polling stations in Iraqi city of Kirkuk


"The employees of the commission are in a hostage situation", he told a news conference.

The unofficial results of the polls showed the PUK leading with a significant gap over rivals from the Arab and Turkmen lists, who came in second and third, respectively. Oil-rich Kirkuk is at the heart of a long-running dispute between the Kurds, who claim it as part of their autonomous region, and the central government in Baghdad. But elections commissioner Riad al-Badran, who had alleged the armed takeover of the election office, said election workers were unable to send results from 186 ballot boxes.

But the Turkmen and Arab communities have disputed those results and called for a recount.

Arshad al-Salihi, head of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, alleged that ballots cast for Turkmen parties had been illegally counted as votes for the Sulaymaniyah-based Kurdistan Patriotic Union.

"Tension is mounting in Kirkuk as Turkmen continue to demonstrate for their rights", al-Salihi said.

NWS: 2 tornadoes hit CT during Tuesday storm
There was a similar accident killed a woman just north of there who was also inside a auto when a tree came down. Nearby Brookfield was not hit by a tornado, but did see a "macroburst" with winds around 100 miles per hour .

Badran still said he expects to have final figures on the province within two days, despite the gunmen.

Millions of Iraqis went to 8,959 polling centers across the country on Saturday to vote for their parliamentary representatives in the first general election after Iraq's historic victory over the Islamic State (IS) group last December.

Turnout fell far short of previous elections with only 44.5 percent of registered voters participating.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on Iraqis to respect the results. The record low turnout was partly blamed on a curfew and restrictions on movement of vehicle.

Reports indicate that Sairoun Alliance - a coalition of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Iraqi Communist Party - won the national popular vote with more than 1.3 million votes, gaining 54 seats in parliament out of a total of 329.