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France votes in presidential election today

French voters began casting ballots for the presidential election Sunday under heightened security in a tense first-round poll that's seen as a test for the spread of populism around the world.

Over 60,000 polling stations opened at 0600 GMT for voters who will choose between 11 candidates in the most unpredictable election in decades.

Security was tight after a deadly attack on the Champs-Elysees on Thursday in which a police officer and a gunman were slain. The government has mobilized more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect polling stations, with an additional 7,000 soldiers on patrol.

Source: Al Alam


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