Finally Kandahar Residents Cast Their Votes

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul

The suicide bomber was shot by the security forces but that could not prevent him from detonating, said Mujahid.

Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections since 2010 were held against a backdrop of near-daily attacks by the Taleban, who have seized almost half the country and have refused offers to negotiate with the government.

The attack came as officials at the IEC have begun counting votes after much-delayed parliamentary polls in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces were completed last week.

No security incidents were reported Saturday in Kandahar, according to Zabiullah Sadat, deputy spokesman for Afghan Independence Election Commission.

One police officer and one IEC staff member were killed in the attack, said security officials, adding that another seven people - four IEC staff members, two police officers and one civilian - were wounded.

Scores of attacks marred the first day of the election on October 20, with an AFP tally showing almost 300 civilians and security forces were killed or wounded in poll-related violence.

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On the eve of the ballot, Afghan air strikes killed at least 56 Taliban militants in Kandahar's Shah Wali Kot district, provincial police spokesman Zia Durrani told AFP.

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 worldwide security force mostly withdrew in 2014.

The unprecedented delays forced voting to be extended a second day last weekend to give people in more than 400 polling centers an opportunity to cast their ballots.

On Saturday voters in Kandahar - the southern birthplace of the Taliban and a province notorious for ballot stuffing - went to the polls. "We want to vote and will do so even at the risk of our lives", has insured with the AFP Samiullah, an elector of the city of Kandahar.

Ibrahimi said 111 candidates were vying for 11 seats in Parliament from southern Kandahar in Afghanistan's 249-seat chamber. But hiccups with biometric devices and voter lists persisted.

Miller escaped unhurt, but US Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley was among 13 people wounded in the shooting claimed by the Taliban. It had also cautioned teachers not to use schools as voting booths.

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