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Afghans Vote In Kandahar Elections Delayed By Violence

Voters went to the polls amid tight security in Kandahar Province on October 27 in parliamentary elections that were delayed in the southern Afghan province by one week after a high-profile Taliban attack.Major roads throughout southern Kandahar were closed nearly 24 hours before polls opened to stop vehicle-born explosive devices from entering the province, said provincial governor's spokesman Aziz Ahmed Azizi.Polls closed at 5 p.m. local time. Election officials could not immediately determine the turnout from the 567,000 registered voters in Kandahar.Reports suggested that dozens of polling stations opened late because staff did not show up or election materials were not readily available.Seyed Hafizullah Hashemi, Independent Election Commission spokesman, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the issue will be investigated.Election officials said 111 candidates were vying for 11 seats in parliament from southern Kandahar in Afghanistan's 249-seat chamber.The delay in voting was the result of the assassination of Kandahar's police chief General Abdul Raziq by Taliban insurgents two days before the national elections.The killing of Raziq, who was widely credited for maintaining stability in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, sent shock waves through the country. will not be known until the new year.

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