Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Afghan election commission officials injured in blast near Kabul headquarters

Afghan election commission officials injured in blast near Kabul headquarters

One police officer was killed and six others, including election workers and policemen, were wounded in the blast.

"I have to vote for a better future for my country", shopkeeper Abdul Abbas told AFP outside a polling centre in the provincial capital.

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

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Residents braved threats of militant attacks to queue on Saturday outside more than 170 polling stations across the province amid heavy security.

Security was tight throughout southern Kandahar as voters waited hours in line Saturday to cast their ballots in parliamentary elections that were delayed in the province by one week after an attack by an elite guard killed two top government officials, including a powerful provincial police chief.

"We were anxious about attacks but our security arrangement worked to prevent disruption of the vote", Zia Durani, a spokesman for Kandahar police.

More than 4 million people cast their ballots elsewhere last weekend despite violence and logistical issues, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

The bodyguard opened fire at a group of officials after a meeting with General Scott Miller, the commander of the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan.

An insurgent had detonated about 15 metres from the vehicle in which the poll body officials were travelling, Kabul police spokesperson Basir Mujahid was cited as saying by Efe news.

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.

According to the IEC, 111 candidates from Kandahar were competing for 11 seats, including three for women, at the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament. It had also cautioned teachers not to use schools as voting booths.

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