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Taliban voting threats harden

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Taliban voting threats harden

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The Taliban have clarified what they mean when they tell ordinary Afghans ‘do not come to vote’ in next Thursday’s elections: ‘Don’t get hurt; you will be considered an enemy of Islam siding with the government and foreign forces.’

As national forces brace, Taliban leaders have sent letters saying they’ll target voting stations directly, everywhere in Afghanistan. The defence minister talked about expectations for the presidential and provincial polling: “Unfortunately the election is happening at a time when we are facing a battle with international terrorism. Therefore there will be challenges and problems in this election, compared with elections in other countries.” The Taliban proved what they could do on Saturday. A suicide car bomber slipped into heavily guarded central Kabul, killing seven Afghans and wounding scores of others outside the headquarters of US and NATO troops. The vote is being seen as a test. The government says its preparations include ceasefire agreements with some Taliban. But a Taliban spokesman rejected this: “We are saying to the people ‘do not be cheated by the infidel, by their slaves and by the Americans — and do not go to the polling stations.’”