At least 26 members of the Iraqi security forces died on Monday in attacks on polling places open to accommodate the police and the army in advance of the country's legislative elections, an Interior Ministry spokesman told Efe.

Another 90 police and soldiers were wounded, 40 of them in Baghdad, where half the fatalities occurred.

The attacks were seemingly designed to challenge the government's ability to protect the general public during Wednesday's legislative balloting.

The turnout Monday was 91.46 percent, "the highest registered since the commission was created in 2005," Maqdad al Sharifi, a member of the Electoral Commission, said at a press conference.

This figure is a larger percentage than was expected by the commission, which had anticipated that 80 percent of the police and military would vote, Al Sharifi said.

The communications chief of the Electoral Commission, Aziz al Khakani, told Efe that participation was "massive" and that 742 polling places were open across Iraq.

About 1 million police officers and soldiers will be deployed to guarantee security at the polling places on Wednesday, when the majority of Iraqis will be able to vote.

In Kurdistan, the public also voted on Monday to elect the members of three provincial councils. EFE