227 polling sites under threat in east
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): About 227 polling stations are under security threat in eastern provinces of the country, with some yet to be established, election and security officials said on Saturday.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) head in Nangarhar, Dr. Akhtar Mohammad Ajmal, said 114 sites in the province faced security threats.
He said they had already submitted a list of the polling stations to security departments. He added 114 sites were under high security risk, mostly in far-flung districts.
But police spokesman Maj. Hazrat Husain Mashriqiwal, said they had launched cleanup operations in several parts of the province to create the environment for elections.
Five polling sites had been secured as a result of operations, he said, adding they had set up checkpoints in Khogyani sometimes ago. “Presently, we are busy conducting operations in Chaparhar.”
IEC local office head for Nuristan, Izzatullah Halim, said 18 polling sites in Kamdesh, Barg-i-Matal and Want Waigal districts would remain shut due to deteriorating security.
“Security officials told us there will be no polling in 18 areas because of the militant threat and an absence of adequate resources. We shared a list of the polling sites with them.”
His counterpart in Laghman, Niamatullah Sapi, promised security officials would provide protection for all polling sites. He said they had dropped the idea of establishing polling stations in areas with security problems.
Laghman police chief, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Daud Amin, said there were 136 polling sites in the province. Of them, 74 are under normal threat, 24 under medium and 12 under high security threats. The remaining 26 are in areas under rebel control.
The police chief said 22 of the 136 polling sites could not be opened.
A total of 119 polling sites were planned in Kunar province, said IEC official Abdul Rahman Mohabat, who explained 23 sites, believed to be under high security risk, were yet to be opened.
Police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Habib Syedkhel, confirmed 23 polling stations were facing high security problems. It would be impossible to hold polls at the sites without operations and creation of security posts there, he concluded.
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