Middle East

Four million go to the polls in Afghanistan despite days of violence

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Around 4 million of Afghanistan's 8.8 million registered voters have cast their ballots in parliamentary elections that have been marred by violence.

Afghanistan's second day of parliamentary elections came to a close as a roadside bomb brought the two-day death toll to over 50.

Independent Elections Commission Chairman Abdul Badi Sayat said around 4 million people out of the 8.8 million registered voters cast their ballots over Saturday and Sunday.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked citizens for participating in a speech carried on state TV.

Afghans wait to cast their ballot as voting continued for the second day in some polling stations in Helmand.
Afghans wait to cast their ballot as voting continued for the second day in some polling stations in Helmand.
AAP

"Afghans did not only show their enemies that they would not surrender to any threats or warnings, but that they also have the power and will to defeat their enemies," Ghani said, referring to threats by the Taliban and the Islamic State affiliate warning voters against casting ballots.

Officials at polling stations struggled with voter registration and a new biometric system that was aimed at stemming fraud, but instead created enormous confusion.

The Taliban had vowed to attack the election, and on the first day of polling at least 36 people were killed in nearly 200 attacks, including 27 civilians, according to Deputy Interior Minister Akhtar Mohammed Ibrahimi.

On Sunday, a roadside bomb in the eastern Nangarhar province struck a vehicle filled with civilians, killing 11 people, including six children, according to Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Preliminary results will not be released before mid-November and final results will not be out until December.

With AAP and AFP

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