News / Asia

Afghanistan Deploys Security Forces Nationwide to Secure Polls

Afghanistan Deploys Security Forces Nationwide to Secure Pollsi
X
Sharon Behn
April 02, 2014 9:50 PM
Afghanistan has deployed 300,000 police, army and special forces across the country to secure polling stations for the April 5 presidential and provincial elections. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Kabul on the extraordinary push to improve security as militant attacks continue in an effort to disrupt the ballot.
Sharon Behn
Afghanistan has deployed 300,000 police, army and special forces across the country to secure polling stations for the April 5 presidential and provincial elections.  

The extraordinary push to improve security comes as militant attacks continue in an effort to disrupt the ballot.

Security is tight on the streets of Kabul.  Despite this, militant attacks continue.
 
Ministry of Defense spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said every effort was being made to safeguard the April 5 elections.

"We cannot say that the enemy will not attack; they will try suicide bomb attacks and bomb blasts in some parts of the country.  But I can tell you we have the ability and capacity to stop them," he said.
 
Tens of thousands of security troops have fanned out across the country.
 
"Our special forces commandos also are now ready across the country, in provinces where they may be needed to respond to emergency situations. We also have special forces ready to conduct night raids," said the spokesman.
 
Yet the large outdoor political rallies have remained relatively unscathed during the election campaign.
 
Instead, militant attacks have focused on police, election officials, local candidates and foreigners.
 
Police are taking the security lead.
 
Kabul's Rapid Reaction force are the police who are called in when there is a bomb blast or gun battle in the city center.  They are also the ones who will be helping secure Kabul for the upcoming presidential elections.
 
Some voters, like Haji Asad, are determined to have a voice in this election.

"We Afghans have to ensure our own security.  And in spite of all the threats, we are still going to the polls," said Asad.

Others, like Haji Qais, are not willing to take the risk.
 
"Only party members will vote, and even they will be scared.  No-one is going to risk their life, we do not have enough security, and if Kabul is not secure, imagine the provinces," said Qais.
 
Security officials, including the country's Air Forces Commander General Mohammed Dawran, are trying their best to re-assure citizens.
 
"Our air forces are at the ready in many provinces, like Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar, and Helmand.  And we have helicopters on standby across the country to deploy our special forces commandos in case of any emergency," he said.

The Taliban on Wednesday again warned Afghans not to take part in the elections, or risk being killed.
 
Guesthouses and restaurants popular with foreigners and Afghans have already been closed in the capital in expectations of further attacks.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid