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Surge in kidnaps on the eve of Afghan poll

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Surge in kidnaps on the eve of Afghan poll

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More than 20 people including two candidates have been kidnapped in Afghanistan, on the eve of parliamentary elections.

Most of the abductions reportedly took place in the northwestern Badghis province, where ten political activists and eight election observers were reportedly seized. Afghanistan’s election commission has blamed the Taliban.

Security in the capital Kabul and across the country remains tight. Some 300,000 Afghan soldiers and almost a 150,000 foreign troops are guarding the poll.

Despite that, the latest kidnaps are a grim reminder of Afghanistan’s insecurity and are likely to test voters resolve, in the face of Taliban threats.

Around 2500 candidates will contest some 250 seats as Afghanistan seeks to put 2009’s deeply flawed election behind it.