A vehicle carrying the dead body of a man after a mine explosion which was deployed in the entrance gate of a polling center in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 20, 2018. EPA-EFE/JAWAD JALALI
Kabul, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- Several blasts were reported from different parts of Afghanistan on Saturday killing at least 1 and wounding 47 others, as Afghans voted in the much-delayed parliamentary elections.
Blasts were reported from Kabul, and the provinces of Kapisa and Logar (east), and Ghazni (south).
The victims were transported to a hospital run by Italian nonprofit Emergency in the Afghan capital, the organization’s program coordinator Dejan Panic told EFE.
“So far we have received 48 casualties, among them 33 were admitted here in the hospital, and 14 were treated as outpatients, one was brought dead,” said Panic.
Kabul police spokesperson Basir Mujahid confirmed to EFE that a “few small explosions, mainly IEDs” had occurred in Kabul city, but he could not confirm the casualties.
The Afghan government has deployed 70,000 troops – an increase of 16,000 from the figure announced previously – to boost security during the electoral process, interior ministry spokesperson Najib Danish said at a press conference on Saturday.
He added that 4,900 polling centers had opened in 32 out of the 34 provinces.
Elections were delayed in the Ghazni province owing to ethnic tensions and security concerns, while in Kandahar it was pushed back by a week after a brazen attack by the Taliban on Thursday during a high-level security meeting that killed and injured top officials.
Meanwhile, the Taliban warned again on Saturday that they would target all polling booths and urged people against voting.
“Enemy’s polling stations all over the country are under attack by Mujahideens, countrymen must refrain from taking part in this fake process, to save their lives and not to become a tool for the implementation the evil plans of the enemy,” said Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement.
The insurgents claimed on Twitter that they have perpetrated attacks in at least 20 of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan on Saturday.
The elections are being held after a delay of three years owing to security challenges and political and economic instabilities in the country.