Iraqi election officials say turnout in provincial elections was close to expectations but fell short of an overwhelming surge at the polls.

Officials say between 55 and 60 percent of voters cast ballots throughout the country. That roughly matches what was predicted before Saturday's vote to select the influential regional councils.

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The turnout was about 60 percent in the provinces of Ninevah and Diyala north of Baghdad, as well as Najaf in the south. In Basra, it was about 55 percent.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because official figures are not expected for several days.

The elections took place without major violence.