Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling on Taliban and other militants
to vote in the country's upcoming election and not attack the polls.
Mr. Karzai says militants should participate in the August 20 presidential and provincial council elections, and renounce violence not only on election day "but forever." He told reporters in Kabul Saturday that the vote can help bring peace, security and development.
The Afghan leader also called on the international community to not interfere and play an impartial role in the poll. Mr. Karzai is running for re-election against 40 other candidates.
The United States and Afghanistan's other international allies have pledged thousands of extra troops to prevent attacks and ensure security for the election.
Saturday, officials said suspected militants killed eight police officers in the southern province of Helmand.
A provincial government spokesman, Dawood Ahmadi, says the gunmen ambushed a police checkpoint near Laskhar Gah, the provincial capital.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.