Kabul attack on election workers kills 1


The election, held up for years amid disputes between political factions over voting rules, is one of the biggest tests of Afghanistan's ability to protect itself since an global security force mostly withdrew in 2014.

Voting in Kandahar was postponed after an October 18 attack by a turncoat Afghan guard who opened fire at a high-profile security meeting in the provincial capital that was also attended by American troops.

More than 4 million people cast their ballots elsewhere last weekend despite violence and logistical issues, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

Officials from the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) regional office in Kandahar said Sunday that 148 IEC staff members failed to report to their polling centers or stations in the province on Saturday, citing security threats and a "lack of appropriate privileges" as the reason.

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In recent months, there have been dozens of attacks on people involved in the election process, including candidates and voters.

Some 173 polling stations opened throughout the region, although voting was suspended in the districts of Maruf and Nesh owing to a lack of security.

The bodyguard opened fire at a group of officials after a meeting with General Scott Miller, the commander of the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

The Kandahar governor's spokesman says major roads throughout the province were closed Friday to all vehicles, except those with prior security clearance. Razeq's death served as a rallying cry for some voters and candidates.

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The election is seen as a dry run for next year's presidential vote and an important milestone in advance of a United Nations meeting in Geneva in November where Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on "democratic processes".

On October 23, Taliban forces abducted 20 Afghans in Farah Province because of participating in the country's parliamentary elections and killed two of them.

"People are frustrated and waiting for hours in long lines", said Gulalai who voted at a polling station set up in a Kandahar city school.

Preliminary results of nationwide voting for Afghanistan's 249-seat Parliament are not expected before mid-November.

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