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Afghan poll overshadowed by suspected fraud

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Afghan poll overshadowed by suspected fraud


A wave of fraud allegations have cast fresh doubt over Afghanistan’s latest parliamentary poll.

The country’s election watchdog said it had received more than 700 complaints, expecting such grievances to rise to at least 3000. It means the final result may not be known for weeks.

On Saturday some election officials immediately declared the vote a success, but now the Afghan government has said it is too early to judge.

Held against a backdrop of Taliban violence and intimidation, voter turnout is also thought to be lower than previous ballots.

The suspected abuses will worry authorities who had been keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s disastrous presidential poll.

The news of voting irregularities came as UK forces handed over responsibility to American troops in the deadly district of Sangin in Southern Afghanistan. They will be redeployed elsewhere in Helmand province.

Since 2001 almost 340 British soldiers have been killed, a third of those in Sangin.

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