The Latest: Over 70-percent turnout in Iraqi Kurd referendum

The Latest on the Iraqi Kurdish referendum on support for independence from Baghdad and the tensions surrounding the vote (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

Regional authorities say the Iraqi Kurdish referendum saw an over 70-percent turnout.

That's according to the electoral commission in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Sherwan Zerar, the commission's spokesman, said on Tuesday morning that turnout was about 3.3 million of the eligible 4.5 million residents. Official results from the election are expected later in the day.

The vote, which was held on Monday, was billed by the Iraqi Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination. To Baghdad, the vote threatens a redrawing of Iraq's borders, while leaders in Turkey and Iran fear the move would embolden their own Kurdish populations.


11:11 a.m.

Thousands of Iranian Kurds have poured into the streets in Iran in support of the Iraqi Kurds' voting in a landmark referendum for independence from Baghdad.

Footage shared online by Iranian Kurds showed demonstrators waving lit mobile phones in the air and chanting their support into the night on Monday.

The demonstrations took place in towns of Baneh, Saghez and Sanandaj.

Iranian state television on Tuesday acknowledged the demonstrations, a rarity in the Islamic Republic.

Iran, Turkey and Iraq's central government in Baghdad have all opposed the referendum. Iran has been holding military exercises near the Iraqi border in a show of its displeasure.

The Iraqi Kurdish push for independence comes as Kurdish forces captured extensive territory in fighting against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.