Afghanistan: Kandahar goes to polls after week's delay

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Security is tight in southern Kandahar for parliamentary elections that were delayed one week following an attack by an elite guard who killed two top government officials, including a powerful police chief.

Polls closed at 5 p.m. local time but election officials could not immediately determine the turnout from the 567,000 registered voters in Kandahar.

"The explosion happened 20 metres from the vehicles of the IEC employees", Kabul police spokesman Basir Mujahid told AFP.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

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One police officer was killed and six others, including election workers and policemen, were wounded in the blast.

On election day, the Taliban had carried out around 200 attacks, which left at least 36 dead and 126 wounded.

IEC figures show roughly 4.2 million out of the almost nine million people registered to vote actually cast a ballot.

People in Kandahar Province went to the polls on Saturday, while elections have yet to be held in central Ghazni Province, which is still reeling from the Taliban's takeover in August.

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"The election commission supports the move and wants the people who tried to damage the election process to be punished", Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, a deputy spokesman for the IEC said.

Unofficial election results of the parliamentary balloting are not expected before mid-November and official results sometime in December.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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