22 Kunduz polling stations under threat
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Security officials said on Sunday 22 of the 218 polling stations faced high security risks in northeastern Kunduz province, but efforts were being made to protect the sites.
Kunduz police chief, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Mohseni, said the 22 polling stations were located in Khanabad, Chahar Dara, Qala Zal and Dasht-i-Archi districts.
He said new police posts would be established to provide security for the polling sites, admitting rebels posed a serious threat in Qala Zal and Khanabad towns.
The police chief said security forces were capable to purge the areas of militants, but Khanabad residents say more 2,000 fighters have been operating in the district.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has said security organs had acknowledged they would not be able to provide security for 414 of 6845 polling stations in 11 provinces.
Mohsini said police were ready to protect presidential and provincial candidates during the electioneering.
The presidential election campaign formally began on Sunday and the campaign for provincial council elections would start a month later on March 4.
Afghan National Army coordination commander Bashir Basharat they had chalked out a comprehensive security plan with police on how to deal with any untoward incident during the election process.
IEC regional public awareness director Hamidullah Baloch told Pajhwok Afghan News security forces had assured them they would maintain security for polling stations facing threats.
He said the voter registration process had so far been hitch-free and hoped security forces would be able to provide a peaceful environment to voters.
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