TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered Iraqi forces in Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah to ensure security in the Kurdish provinces following violent protests in the wake of the country's parliamentary polls, media reports said on Sunday.

In a statement issued by his office, Abadi said he ordered security forces in Kirkuk and the Kurdish region “to maintain neutrality in dealing with polls”.

He called on Iraq’s election commission to “take quick measures to check the boxes and the objected electronic devices and to announce the results to the public to maintain the integrity of the elections”.

Thousands of Turkmens and Arabs demonstrated in Kirkuk on Saturday amid alleged violations during voting in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)-held areas, Anadolu news agency reported.

Gunmen also attacked the headquarters of the Gorran Movement in Sulaimaniyah, after the movement claimed that the electronic voting system had been hacked during the polls.

On Saturday, Iraqis went to the polls in the country’s first parliamentary elections since the country declared victory against the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group.

According to the Iraqi election commission, around 10.8 million Iraqis out of 24 million eligible voters took part in the polls, with a turnout of 44.52 percent.

The polls were held under the shadow of economic crisis, the return of thousands of refugees, political polarization, and security concerns.