Afghanistan: voting in Kandahar, a week after the rest of the country

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul

The long-delayed parliamentary elections, which were held over two weekends, were targeted in some 250 militant attacks across the country, which killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 100 others.

Kandaharians will cast their votes in 173 polling stations across the province.

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. "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.

While preparations had been "better" in Kandahar compared with the previous weekend, hiccups with biometric devices and voter lists persisted.

"I have defied all the threats of attacks and explosions to vote".

Provincial governor spokesman Abdul Rahman Mangal confirmed the death toll.

The Taliban-claimed blast happened as the bus entered a police compound in the Wardak provincial capital of Maidan Shar, provincial police spokesman Hekmatullah Durrani told AFP.

People attend a burial ceremony of General Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, who was killed in yesterday's attack, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan October 19, 2018.

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

Miller escaped unhurt, but US Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley was among 13 people wounded in the shooting claimed by the Taliban.

More than half a million people were registered to vote across the province, according to the IEC's media relations office, with women making up roughly 1 in 8 registered voters.Turnout figures have not yet been released. A balance sheet four times higher than that reported by afghan authorities, who are believed to have deliberately under-estimated the violence so as not to frighten the voters.

The discrepancy also added to concerns about the lack of transparency and credibility in the election, which is more than three years late and the third since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

These elections have been seen as a test of the state of Afghanistan's fragile democracy as well as a trial ahead of the presidential elections set to take place in April 2019.

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

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