Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Islamic State claims blast near election commission in Afghan capital: Amaq

Islamic State claims blast near election commission in Afghan capital: Amaq

At least four officials of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and two policemen were wounded in the attack, Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry, said.

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

IEC officials said 4,500 observers will monitor the election process in Kandahar and 6,000 staff have been hired in Kandahar for the election process.

Major roads throughout southern Kandahar were closed almost 24 hours before polls opened to stop vehicle-born explosive devices from entering the province, said the provincial governor's spokesman. More than 2,500 candidates are competing for the 250 seats in the lower house. "They can not find people's names on the voters list".

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

A suicide bomber targeted the headquarters of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kabul, injuring at least six people in a blast in front of the building.

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Kandahar's police chief office spokesman, Ahmad Zia Dorani said no security incidents had been reported in any polling station around the province, according to the Associated Press.

Last weekend's countrywide voting in Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections in eight years suffered from violence and chaos, with multiple attacks killing more than 50 people in two days of voting.

The ballot was also marred by lengthy delays at polling stations and allegations of fraud.

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.

Voting in the 32 provinces also saw a high turnout but problems with new biometric verification devices, missing or incomplete voter rolls and absent election workers following Taliban threats meant many voters waited for hours.

The elections were initially planned to take place in 2015 but were delayed due to security challenges and political and economic instability.

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