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Amid delays and setbacks, voting begins in war-torn Congo

Jerome Delay / AP

Voters check for their names on lists at the Monseigneur Moke school polling station in the Matonge district in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on Nov. 28.

Phil Moore / AFP - Getty Images

Ballot papers burned in an attack on two pick-up trucks lie on the roadside in Lubumbashi on Nov. 28. A convoy of 8 vehicles were carrying papers when they were attacked at 3 a.m. by a group of armed men in the capital of the mineral rich province of Katanga.

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / AFP - Getty Images

A man dips his finger in purple ink after voting at a polling station in Kinshasa on Nov. 28.

The AP reports from KINSHASA, Congo:

Voting began Monday with delays and setbacks in this massive nation pummeled by war for an election that could further consolidate the country's peace or drag Congo back into conflict.

Over the weekend, police lobbed tear gas at protesters. Opposition leaders and country experts had urged the government to delay the vote due to massive logistical problems, including the late delivery of voting materials, but the election proceeded anyway.

The vote is the second since the end of Congo's last war and the first to be organized by the government instead of the international community. There were delays at every step in the preparation and as of Sunday, 12 of the 156 voting districts had not yet received ballots. At polling stations that opened on time, lines were small, possibly reflecting fear among voters. Continue reading.

Jerome Delay / AP

Voters wait for election materials to arrive at a polling station in Kinshasa on Nov. 28.

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu / AFP - Getty Images

A man looks at the list of candidates in a voting booth in Kinshasa on Nov. 28.