Campaign posters in Baghdad

An explosion killed at least five people in the Iraqi capital Thursday as soldiers, prisoners and hospital patients cast ballots in early voting in the country's general election.

Officials say the blast, caused by either a rocket or a bomb, struck near a polling station that was not being used.

The attack came despite increased security at Baghdad polling centers, where those who may not be able to get to the polls Sunday took part in the early voting session.

Officials have warned that insurgents may increase attacks in an attempt to disrupt the vote, which is only the second parliamentary election since former dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003.

On Wednesday, three suicide bombers blew themselves up in Baquba, northeast of the capital, killing at least 31 people in the deadliest attack in weeks.

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