‘Casualties in Afghan polls highest ever’

November 11, 2018 - 10:12

TEHRAN _ The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections last month was higher than casualties recorded in four previous elections in Afghanistan, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report.

At least 435 civilian casualties were recorded, out of which 56 people were killed and 379 wounded, on the Election Day (October 20), and during days when delayed polling was conducted in some provinces. The numbers do not include casualties from attacks during the three-week election campaign.

“The report documents grave concerns over the organized campaign of numerous attacks by anti-government elements, mainly Taliban, directed at civilian objects and in civilian populated areas during the elections, including attacks against schools used as polling centers,” the report said.

The report noted that the attacks by the Taliban were carried out with rockets, grenades, mortars and improvised explosive devices.

Some attacks on voter registration centers prior to the Election Day were claimed by the ISIS, also known by its Arabic acronym ‘Daesh’.

“The Taliban's actions forced many ordinary Afghans to choose between exercising their right to participate in the political process and risking their own safety,” the UNAMA said.

Elections were originally scheduled for 2014 but were delayed multiple times because of the fragile security situation and disagreements over election reforms. The votes are presently being counted and results would be declared later this month.

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