Voting underway for parliamentary elections in Kandahar province

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul

Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll

Voting in Kandahar was delayed after police chief Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most feared anti-Taliban commanders, was killed along with the provincial intelligence chief two days before the election by a member of the governor's bodyguard.

Afghanistan held parliamentary elections in the southern province of Kandahar on Saturday, a week late because of the assassination of the provincial police chief by the Taliban.

"The explosion happened 20 metres from the vehicles of the IEC employees", Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid was quoted as saying by AFP. 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.

In the shooting, the police officer who shot the attacker was killed and two police officers with 4 polling staff were injured, he added.

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IEC figures show roughly 4.2 million out of the almost nine million people registered to vote actually cast a ballot.

The elections in Afghanistan have been regarded as a major test for the government as the Taliban militants wreak havoc across much of the country.

The voting for parliamentary, Wolesi Jirga, elections kicked off in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan earlier today.

Any citizen suspecting or witnessing fraud or irregularities should channel complaints through the relevant Afghan authorities, especially the Electoral Complaints Commission. "A team from the central IEC office is in Kandahar to manage the process", said Wardak. But hiccups with biometric devices and voter lists persisted.

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Insurgent groups, especially Taliban militants, had vowed to disrupt the polling process.

With vote counting under way, the IEC is scheduled to release preliminary results on November 10.

There are 112 candidates, of whom 12% are women, for Kandahar's 11 parliamentary seats, the IEC said.

The general Scott Miller, commander-in-chief of the american army and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Afghanistan, present at the time of the attack, was unharmed.

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