Taliban chop off voters' fingers

Taliban chop off voters' fingers

Afghan election commission says 11 of its staff lost lives on polling day

Meanwhile, the elections commission said 11 of its staffers lost their lives on polling day.

Nader Nader, chairman of the Free and Fair Election Foundation, told a press conference that the militants made good on pre-election threats by attacking polling sites and in one instance punishing voters in southern Afghanistan.

“In some instances our observers witnessed the illegal and brutal punishments of the Taliban,” he said. “In one incident, for example, unfortunately our observer witnessed the cutting of two fingers of the two voters in Kandahar province.”

In order to avoid multiple voting, the voters were expected on Thursday to dip their fingers into bottle of indelible ink, a measure that turned ominous for the voters as Taliban could easily identify them in volatile southern region. The militants repeatedly threatened Afghans not to take part in Thursday’s presidential and provincial elections, warning they would slit throats and chop off fingers of anyone who voted.

Numerous attacks

The Taliban fighters conducted more than 130 attacks, including firing dozens of rockets and unleashing numerous suicide bombers on polling stations to disrupt the vote, which was the second in history of the country.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) also said on Saturday that 11 staffers were killed in such attacks on Thursday. “Regretfully, we have learned that eleven staff members of the IEC, who were committed to conduct a free, transparent and fair election in the country after the long preparations for the day of Thursday,” the commission said in a statement.

The Afghan security sources already said that 17 security personnel and nine civilians were killed in attacks on the election day, but it was not clear if any of the election staffers were counted among the civilians by security forces.