Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Afghans Go to Polls in Postponed Elections in Kandahar

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll
Leonard Rios | 31 October, 2018, 11:39

Security is tight in southern Kandahar for parliamentary elections that were delayed one week following an attack by an elite guard who killed two top government officials, including a powerful police chief.

"The explosion happened 20 metres from the vehicles of the IEC employees", Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid told AFP.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for Monday's blast at Afghanistan's election commission in Kabul, according to a statement.

Hajji Hamdullah Gulalai, head of one of the largest tribes in south Kandahar, complained bitterly about the chaos at polling stations, where workers were late arriving and had difficulty finding the names of voters waiting to cast their ballots. Both groups have warned Afghans against participating in the elections and have used violence to try to prevent people from going to the polls.

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According to the Independent Election Commission, at least 8.8 million people have been issued voter cards to cast votes for 2,500 candidates seeking seats in the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament).

"The election commission supports the move and wants the people who tried to damage the election process to be punished", Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, a deputy spokesman for the IEC said. The war toppled the militant group; however, some 17 years on, the Taliban are still active in two-thirds of the country and involved in widespread militancy, killing thousands of civilians as well as Afghan and USA forces despite the presence of US-led foreign troops.

The terrorist group has mostly been populating the eastern province of Nangarhar, from where it has carried out high-profile brutal attacks at major population centers across the country.

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