Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Voting starts in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar amid tight security

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll
| 29 October, 2018, 16:47

The attack took place after a meeting with the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller. Raziq's strongman tactics had been credited with thwarting successive Taliban attempts to gain a foothold in Kandahar, once their spiritual heartland.

A bomber, who was on foot, blew up at 8:00 a.m. local time on Monday near a vehicle at the gate of the IEC's sprawling compound located near an arterial road in Kabul.

The ballot, which the Taliban had vowed to attack, was marred by deadly violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in scores of attacks. The U.S. -backed government is rife with corruption and many Afghans have said they do not expect the elections to be fair.

Yet millions of Afghans have defied Taliban threats and waited, often for hours, to cast their votes.

Kandahar residents will choose 11 candidates out of 111 parliamentary candidates Saturday, a week after the rest of the country voted.

According to reports, 109 candidates are running for the parliamentary elections from Kandahar province, including 96 men and 13 women.

Kandaharians will cast their votes in 173 polling stations across the province.


The election commission has also said that 567,000 people have registered to vote in Kandahar. "They can not find people's names on the voters list".

A bomb attack hits near the head office of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) in the capital, Kabul, leaving multiple casualties.

The suicide bomber was shot by the security forces but that could not prevent him from detonating, said Mujahid. Another eight people were wounded, he said, although the casualty numbers could rise.

The latest assault by the Taliban comes amid a flurry of US-led diplomatic activity to convince the group to negotiate an end to the 17-year war.

It was not immediately clear how many people were at the site at the time of the attack.

Streets in the city were quieter than usual at the beginning of the Afghan working week, after authorities restricted the use of cars and motorbikes during voting hours.

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