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Pakistan's Restive Tribal Region Holds First Local Elections

Polls have closed in Pakistan's first-ever provincial elections in the northwestern tribal areas, a region along the Afghan border that was once controlled by Islamist militant groups. First results are not expected for several hours. Nearly 3 million people are eligible to vote in the provincial assembly elections on July 20, which opened at 8 a.m. local time amid heightened security measures, including the deployment of thousands of policemen and army soldiers in the region. There was no official announcement on the turnout. But local media showed images of long queues of people waiting for their turns at polling stations. The seven tribal districts were merged last year into the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Previously, residents could only vote in the national assembly polls.

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