With just one day to go before Afghanistan’s presidential election, security forces are on full alert in the face of the Taliban threat.
Militants have already demonstrated their determination to disrupt tomorrow’s poll, staging . suicide attacks in Kabul and warning of physical punishment for anyone daring to cast their ballot. “There are fewer people in the street than usual,” noted one man in Kabul. “Some will go to vote,” he said, adding that others could stay away. Despite the violence, less than one percent of polling stations risk attack, according to a spokesman for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. He says the Taliban’s tactics are no surprise. ISAF spokesman Brigadier General Eric Tremblay said: “It is planned, anticipated, that right before election day, that there will be a surge of activity by the insurgents.” So will the people have their say tomorrow? The Afghan government has urged a media blackout on any violence during polling to try to keep the fear factor to a minimum. But images from yesterday are likely to have the opposite effect. Ten people were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul – the dead were Afghan civilians and UN staff as well as a NATO soldier. With reports of fresh violence today, a tense and turbulent time looks likely before President’s Hamid Karzai’s expected re-election.