At least 18 people due to be involved in this weekend’s Afghan parliamentary elections have been kidnapped, authorities have reported.
Ten political activists and eight election observers were seized overnight in the province of Badghis. Election commissioners blame Taliban militants.
In the eastern province of Khost, the Taliban have stuck up posters warning voters will be targeted with bombs.
“I’m not going to take part in elections because the Taliban has issued a warning to all,” said one resident. “I’m not crazy. to risk my life by participating in the elections.”
However other residents said they would defy the threats.
“We will vote fearlessly. We are not scared of anyone, because we will vote for our candidate.”
A high number of candidates – 2,500 for 249 seats – is testimony to the interest the election has generated. But fraud and violence undermined the credibility of last year’s presidential vote.
Kidnaps tarnish Afghan elections