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Taliban insurgents are threatening to target Afghans who vote in the
country's November 7 presidential runoff. Afghan election officials are
working to improve security while minimizing fraud.
The lead up
to Afghanistan's second round of voting is beginning much like the
first round under the Taliban's threats of violence.
officially began Saturday in the runoff election between incumbent
President Hamid Karzai and top rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah
In a statement released Saturday, the Taliban denounced the election as an "American process" and vowed to disrupt it.
country's Independent Election Commission spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor
says that so far, the preparations are going smoothly.
preparations for the second round [are] going on," he said. "Until now,
we don't have any specific difficulties or challenges, and we are going
to go ahead."
Massive fraud in the August 20 election led officials to call for a runoff.
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Friday, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, said
he believes there will be less fraud this time around because only two
candidates will be on the ballot and more international teams will be
in place to monitor.
But security is one of the top concerns as
election officials hurry to deliver supplies to polling stations before
the harsh winter weather cuts off access.
International officials have pledged the services of coalition forces in order to ensure voter safety.
from the first round of voting detailed a number of violent attacks by
the Taliban, including rocket fire and the amputations of ink-stained
fingers on voters' hands.