Iraq’s Sunnis wary but hopeful about upcoming election

Source: Associated Press

By BALINT SZLANKO and MUHANAD AL-SALEH

HASSAN SHAM CAMP, Iraq (AP) — After bearing the brunt of a 3½-year war against the Islamic State group, Iraq’s minority Sunnis have a key concern ahead of Saturday’s parliamentary election: Will the winners be more inclusive toward the Sunnis, whose marginalization partly fueled the rise of the extremists?

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There’s a mixture of hope and apathy in the Sunni communities. The military defeat of IS in nearly all of Iraq’s territory has delivered millions from life under the group’s harsh rule, and the campaign rhetoric has been less sectarian in the days before this election.

Still, the war has left more than 2 million Iraqis, mostly Sunnis, displaced from their homes, with cities, towns and villages suffering heavy destruction. Repairing infrastructure across Anbar and Nineveh provinces, both majority Sunni areas, will cost tens of billions of dollars, local officials say.

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