Poll officials killed in Afghanistan

Two election officials have been killed in an ambush of a joint UN and Afghan electoral registration convoy in south-central Afghanistan.

    The voter-registration process has claimed dozens of lives

    The team had been registering voters in Charchino district of Uruzgan province, 370km south of the capital Kabul, and were en route to the next district Kijran on Friday when they came under fire.
      
    "Two electoral commission workers were martyred and four vehicles were destroyed while they came under attack on their way to Kijran," said provincial governor Jan Muhammad.
      
    The attackers fired at the convoy with light weapons, AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. The convoy had armed guards and the exchange of fire continued for several hours before the attackers fled the area. 
      
    Responsibility

    Speaking from an undisclosed location, a man identifying himself as a Taliban spokesman Abd Al-Latif Hakimi claimed responsibility for the attack.
      
    "Our men attacked an electoral convoy in Uruzgan province and destroyed the vehicles and killed the people in the convoy," said Hakimi.
      
    Taliban-linked groups have vowed to disrupt the country's first presidential elections on 9 October and parliamentary elections which have been pushed back to early 2005, to allow the government time to quell increasing instability.
      
    There have been repeated attacks on electoral workers and sites, UN staff, private contractors, reconstruction companies and Afghan and US-led forces in southern and southeastern Afghanistan.

    SOURCE: AFP


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