Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul

"The suicide bomber blew himself up next to a vehicle of an IEC staff member that was parked near a police checkpoint", said an IEC official. The number of people who were present at the site at the time of the attack is not clear.

The voting in Kandahar Province was initially postponed a week and rescheduled for October 27 in the southern Afghan province after a high-profile attack by Taliban militants.

Problems with untested biometric verification devices, missing or incomplete voter rolls and absent election workers following Taliban threats to attack the ballot forced Afghans to wait hours outside polling stations, many of which opened late or not at all.

Voting in Kandahar was delayed after police chief Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most feared anti-Taliban commanders, was killed along with the provincial intelligence chief two days before the election by a member of the governor's bodyguard.

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The election, which the Taliban had vowed to attack, was marred by deadly violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in scores of attacks.

The attacker was "identified and gunned down by police before reaching his target", Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid told reporters.

More than half a million people - the vast majority of them men - were registered to vote in Kandahar province where more than 100 candidates competed for 11 lower-house seats.

According to the election commission, 567,000 people have registered to vote in Kandahar.

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Voting in parliamentary elections has been completed in 33 of the country's 34 provinces. "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.

Preliminary results of the elections held on October 20-21 are expected to be announced on November 10, while final results are due by December 20.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Monday for a blast near the election commission in Afghan capital Kabul, according to a statement on the group's Amaq news agency.

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