People in Afghanistan are being urged to vote in large numbers in Thursday’s presidential election despite an upsurge in attacks by the Taliban who have vowed to derail the ballot.
A huge security operation is in place across the country in anticipation of further attacks.
President Hamid Karzai, who’s expected to top the poll, called on people not to be intimidated.
“I’m requesting all our people wherever they are, in villages, in homes, in remote areas, in valleys to come out and vote in millions and make this country a greater, better success.”
But if violence does deter voters it could increases chances of a run off election between Karzai and his nearest challenger, Abdullah Abdullah.
The president would still be the favourite but his opponents would have a single candidate to rally around.
But, in the close of the campaign the political machinations have been overshadowed by violence.
An assault by gunmen on a bank building in Kabul was third major attack in five days in the capital.
The militants were eventually killed but the incident served to underline the threat posed to the election by the Taliban.