Millions of Malians are expected to vote in elections they hope will usher in a new era of peace and stability in a country torn apart by an 18-month political crisis and armed conflict.

Voters will have a choice of 27 candidates on Sunday as they go to the polls for the first time since a separatist uprising led to a coup and then a sweeping religious offensive last year which upended one of the region's most stable democracies.

Security has been stepped up in the run-up to the poll, as one rebel group has threatened to strike polling stations.

Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri reports from the Malian capital Bamako.

Source: Al Jazeera