Campaigning in Afghanistan is well underway for November’s run-off presidential election with the opposition candidate to President Karzai, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, out on the campaign trail.
The contest between the incumbent president and the former foreign minister has been denounced by the Taliban as ‘a failed American process’. Taliban militants have threatened Afghans with violence if they cast a vote and security has intensified in the capital Kabul. Afhgan police were out in force trying to break up a demonstration of thousands of people protesting against the rumoured desecration of a copy of the Koran by foreign troops. Protester Abdul Majeed said: “We’re protesting here because American soldiers burned our holy Koran in Wardak province. We will continue this protest to make Americans embarrassed about their actions.” A spokesperson for the US and NATO-led forces said none of their troops had been involved and blamed the Taliban for spreading a false rumour. Protesters blocked traffic in the city for an hour and set fire to an effigy of what they said was the US President Barack Obama. Violence in the area is at its highest level since the Taliban was ousted by US-backed foreign forces in 2001.