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Afghan Election Official Arrested


A top Afghan election official has been arrested on fraud charges stemming from last month's parliamentary polls, according to Afghan police.

Shahzada Hassan, the provincial election chief in Khost province, was detained by authorities on Monday. Officials with the Independent Election Commission say prosecutors are now investigating Hassan.

The New York Times reports that Hassan denied being arrested during a cellphone conversation late Monday. The newspaper report says Hassan instead claimed he was staying at a police guesthouse in Khost for security reasons.

Election officials continue to investigate thousands of claims of vote-rigging and other irregularities involving the September 18 elections. So far, the Afghan election commission has invalidated ballots from 227 voting centers.

Also Tuesday, election officials delayed the announcement of partial election results until October 17, saying they need more time to examine thousands of claims of vote-rigging and other irregularities. The move could delay the announcement of final poll results, which were originally set to be released on October 31.

Some 4.3 million Afghans cast their ballots in elections last month to fill 249 seats in parliament's lower house.

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

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