23 Paktia polling stations under threat
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Security officials in southeastern Paktia province on Thursday said 23 polling stations were still under high threat from insurgents.
Brig. Gen. Zalmai Oryakhel, the provincial police chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News of the 212 polling stations across the province, 23 were insecure.
However, he promised his forces would adopt stringent measures to protect the polling stations from the insurgent threat in the near future.
“Afghan security forces have launched a joint offensive and are trying to secure as many polling stations as possible till the elections,” he added.
The insecure polling stations, he said, were located in Janikhel, Syed Karam, Zazai Aryub, Laja Mangal and Zurmat districts. Paktia did not face any big security challenge that could disrupt the process, he said.
Col. Itbar Shah Shinwari, the Waza Zadran district chief, said: “We have held talks with local elders, who have assured us of all-out cooperation in holding peaceful elections.”
Afghan National Army (ANA), police and intelligence officials had a heavy presence in the province and were striving to bolster security ahead of the April 5 polls, he added.
Rehmatullah Haqmal, the provincial election commission head, expressed optimism the number of insecure polling stations would decrease.
“We are ready to send our officials for discharging their duties as soon as security is restored around insecure polling stations,” he concluded.
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