Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Afghanistan: voting in Kandahar, a week after the rest of the country

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll
Charlie Simmons | 29 October, 2018, 15:35

"The suicide bomber blew himself up next to a vehicle of an IEC staff member that was parked near a police checkpoint", said an IEC official.

On the first day of the elections, 15 people were killed in a suicide attack in the capital Kabul.

Meanwhile, Afghan sources announced that famous commander of Taliban Molla Mahmoud and two others were killed in a conflict with army forces in Pichiragam district, Nangarhar.

The residents in the Afghan province of Kandahar cast their vote today in the parliamentary elections, which were postponed due to an attack last week.

More than 2,500 candidates, including mullahs, journalists and sons of warlords, are competing for 249 seats in the lower house.

With voting in parliamentary elections largely complete following yesterday's delayed vote in Kandahar, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) urges the country's electoral authorities to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the electoral process, especially concerning vote counting, as well as the tabulation and announcement of results. It had also cautioned teachers not to use schools as voting booths.

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The attack took place after a meeting with the top United States commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller.

Stakes are high for Afghans hoping to overhaul Parliament, challenge the dominance of warlords and the politically corrupt and replace them with a younger, more educated generation of politicians.

At least six people were injured after a suicide bomber detonated explosives near Afghanistan's election commission headquarters in Kabul on Monday, officials said.

The ballot, which the Taliban had vowed to attack, was marred by deadly violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in scores of attacks.

"I have to vote for a better future for my country", shopkeeper Abdul Abbas told AFP outside a polling centre in the provincial capital.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and has always been a center of the insurgency that has been waged throughout years of global intervention since the Taliban were toppled during a U.S. bombing campaign in 2001.

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