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Iraq election official says no voting in areas of Sunni province engulfed in clashes

An Iraqi electoral official says there will be no balloting in parts of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province engulfed in clashes between security forces and al-Qaida-inspired militants.

Muqdad al-Shuraifi from the Independent High Electoral Commission said on Tuesday that families displaced by the fighting will be allowed to vote in areas deemed "safe" or in parts of the province where they found shelter.

The April 30 parliamentary election is the first balloting in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011.

But the exclusion of major Sunni cities such as Ramadi and Fallujah — where most of the fighting is underway as Iraqi forces try to wrest back areas overrun by militants — from the voting could deepen Sunni fears of being marginalized by the country's Shiite majority.