National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel)

BANTAY NG BAYAN

Escalating violence in Afghanistan leading up to polls

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The New York Times has reported that seven U.S. soldiers were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan on Monday, August 30. This is but the latest in a spate of escalating Taliban-initiated violence leading up to the Wolesi Jirga (parliamentary) election on September 18. Last week, 10 election campaign workers were abducted in the western province of Herat. Five of the abductees were released. Last Sunday, the bodies of the five remaining abductees were found.

The escalating violence in the country is a monkey wrench to the holding of free and fair elections in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s election commission has already decided not to open almost a thousand polling stations on election day due to security risks, effectively disenfranchising thousands of voters, who often have to travel long distances on foot to be able to reach their polling stations. In the past couple of months, the Taliban has claimed responsibility on the murder of candidates for the coming parliamentary election, affecting the mobility of not just the candidates and their teams in conducting their campaign, but also that of aid workers.

(Report filed by Paolo Maligaya, Kabul)

Written by namfrel

August 31, 2010 at 7:52 am

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