Taliban Abducts Candidates Ahead of Election

Intimidation campaign precedes tomorrow's vote
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2010 11:47 AM CDT
A police officer mans a machine gun on a street corner a day ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
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(Newser) – Taliban fighters have reportedly abducted more than 20 people in an intimidation campaign designed to derail tomorrow’s parliamentary elections, including at least two candidates. The Taliban also warned yesterday that anyone showing up to vote tomorrow “would get hurt.” NATO troops, meanwhile, have vowed to protect the election, and have already rescued three abducted Afghans in Ghazni province, Al Jazeera reports.

“There certainly has been intimidation of a whole variety of people,” says the director of one of the election monitoring groups. “It is not just those who are seeking to be candidates … also people from the independent election commission have had pressure placed on them not to be engaged in the process.” Security forces are on high alert, with extra checkpoints set up in Kabul to check for suicide bombers. Earlier Afghanistan coverage here.

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