Afghans vote in prez polls amid Tal­iban vi­o­lence; 5 dead

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global -

Kabul: Afghans voted in pres­i­den­tial elec­tions amid tight se­cu­rity on Satur­day, as Tal­iban in­sur­gents de­ter­mined to dis­rupt the process un­leashed a string of at­tacks on polling cen­tres across the coun­try that killed at least five peo­ple.

The first-round vote marked the cul­mi­na­tion of a bloody elec­tion cam­paign that de­spite a large field of can­di­dates is seen as a close race be­tween Pres­i­dent Ghani and his bit­ter ri­val Ab­dul­lah Ab­dul­lah, the coun­try’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

The Tal­iban, who car­ried out mul­ti­ple bomb­ings dur­ing the two-month elec­tion sea­son, claimed to have con­ducted hun­dreds of at­tacks against Afghanista­n’s “fake elec­tions”. Of­fi­cials said five se­cu­rity of­fi­cials had been killed and 37 civil­ians wounded. “The en­emy car­ried out 68 at­tacks against elec­tion sites across the coun­try... but se­cu­rity forces re­pelThe Tal­iban cut off Safi­ul­lah Safi’s right fore­fin­ger for vot­ing in 2014. That did not stop the busi­ness­man from do­ing it again. “I know it was a painful ex­pe­ri­ence, but it was only a fin­ger. When it comes to the fu­ture of my coun­try I will not sit back even if they cut off my hand’

led most of the at­tacks,” act­ing de­fence min­is­ter Asadul­lah Khalid said.

Vot­ing took place at nearly 5,000 polling cen­tres, and the in­te­rior min­istry said it had de­ployed 72,000 forces to help se­cure these. Pre­lim­i­nary re­sults are not ex­pected un­til Oc­to­ber 19.


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