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Afghanistan Increases Polling Stations for Election


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Afghan election officials say they plan to increase the number of voting stations for next week's presidential runoff election, despite concerns that could lead to more fraud than in the first vote.

Afghanistan's independent election commission says it will slightly increase the number of polling centers to 6,322 and have enough staff to ensure a credible process.

Foreign election observers had recommended reducing the more than 6,000 polling centers used in the first round after auditors found more than one million fraudulent votes.

Many fake ballots are believed to have come from remote polling stations that never opened or did not have observers monitoring the vote.

Meanwhile, the Taliban in Afghanistan has vowed to intensify its attacks leading up to the November 7 election. A Taliban spokesman told the French news agency the militant group has new plans and tactics to disrupt the election.

The United Nations has not responded to the Afghan announcement of an increase in polling centers. On Wednesday, U.N. officials said workers will continue to help the country prepare for the vote, despite a deadly Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed five U.N. staff members.

The Taliban said the attack Wednesday was the first step of a plan aimed at disrupting the vote, in which incumbent President Hamid Karzai is facing off against former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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