Millennium Post

Over 130 killed as violence rocks chaotic Afghanistan elections

Kabul: More than 130 Afghans were killed or wounded in poll-related violence on Saturday, officials said, as the legislative election turned chaotic with hundreds of polling centres failing to open and voters queueing for hours.

Most of the casualties were in Kabul, where at least four people were killed and 78 wounded in multiple explosions, acting health ministry spokesman Mohibullah Zeer told AFP after the Taliban warned voters to boycott the ballot "to protect their lives".

Election organisers, who have been skewered over their shambolic preparations for the long-delayed ballot, said they would extend voting until Sunday for 360 polling centres after hiccups with voter registration lists and biometric verification devices caused lengthy delays.

Violence also disrupted voting. In the northern city of Kunduz, three people died, and 39 were wounded, hospital director Marzia Yaftali told AFP after more than 20 rockets rained down on the provincial capital.

An Independent Election Commission (IEC) employee was killed, and seven others were missing after the Taliban attacked a polling centre several kilometres from Kunduz city, destroying ballot boxes, provincial IEC director Mohammad Rasoul Omar said.

Eight explosions were recorded in the eastern province of Nangarhar, with two people killed and five wounded, the provincial governor's spokesman said.

Despite the threat of violence, large numbers of voters showed up at polling centres in major cities where they waited hours for them to open. Turnout in rural districts was not clear.

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