Afghans go to polls amid security threats

More than 70,000 security personnel on guard for parliamentary elections

Afghans go to polls amid security threats

Voting for the long-due Afghan parliamentary elections began Saturday amid tight security.

The polls opened at 7 a.m. local time (0230GMT), with some delays reported, and will continue till 4 p.m (1130GMT).

President Ashraf Ghani and First Lady Rula Ghani cast their votes.

Speaking to reporters, the president said that efforts are underway to hold elections in two provinces Ghazni and Kandahar where the poll was postponed due to a law and order situation.

According to the country’s election authority, at least 8.8 million people are expected to vote for 2,500 candidates who are running for the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of the parliament).

More than 70,000 security personnel have been assigned to ensure security of the parliamentary elections, the Ministry of Interior and Defence said.

The Taliban, who have declared war on the government, warned people against coming out to vote.

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