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SARAJEVO | Polling stations closed Sunday in Bosnian elections that could either give a new impetus for the European Union’s integration of the Balkans country or further entrench divisions along ethnic lines.

More than 5,200 polling stations across the country closed at 7 p.m.

The first preliminary results for the tripartite presidency were expected by midnight, while others would be released by Monday, the electoral commission said.

Apart from the presidency, about 3.1 million voters also were choosing the central parliament and the assemblies of the country’s two largely autonomous entities: the Bosnian Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

Bosnian Serbs also were voting for a president, while the Muslim-Croat entity chose its district assemblies.

Almost 15 years since the 1992-95 war ended, Bosnia’s Muslims, Croats and Serbs remain strictly entrenched in their own communities.

The international community that monitors Bosnia hopes the vote will bring a leadership willing to overcome the ethnic divisions and strengthen the weak central institutions, a key condition for Bosnia to enter the EU.

RUSSIA

Militants target law enforcement

MOSCOW | More than 400 police officers and other law enforcement agents have been killed by militants over the past five years in just one of Russia’s restive southern provinces, its leader says.

Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, president of the province of Ingushetia west of Chechnya, said at a rally Saturday that more than 3,000 civilians have been wounded in attacks by militants in the region over the same period, a statement on his administration’s official website said Sunday.

Mr. Yevkurov was badly wounded by a suicide bombing of his convoy in June 2009.

Ingushetia and other provinces in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region have been plagued by Islamist militant attacks, which spread across the region after two separatist wars in neighboring Chechnya.

Rights groups say that police abuses against civilians have fueled violence.

THE NETHERLANDS

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