DAMASCUS - Syrians began voting on Tuesday in an election expected to deliver an overwhelming victory to President Bashar Assad in the midst of a civil war that has fractured the country and killed more than 160,000 people.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) in parts of Syria under Assad's government control.

Assad is running against two relatively unknown challengers who were approved by parliament to participate in the election, which the president's international opponents have dismissed as a sham.


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