At Least Two Killed at Polling Centers in Afghanistan, Aid Group Leaves

At least two people were killed, including a member of the Afghan election coordinating body, by an explosion at a polling center in Ghazni, Afghanistan. The United State’s military puts the number of Afghans killed at six, including two UN workers, while United Nations is reporting only two deaths. According to Reuters, Afghan authorities are placing blame on the Taliban who have vowed to do everything to disrupt the election scheduled for October.

The first post-Taliban elections, originally scheduled to take place in June then pushed back to September, have again been delayed until October due to slow voter registration and insecurity caused by Taliban-like militia and so-called warlords. In June, three female election workers were killed in Jalalabad, and 16 Afghan were shot dead because they had voter registration cards.

Meanwhile, the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it is pulling out of Afghanistan, citing three major reasons for leaving, reports the Associated Press. These include the lack of security on the ground, lack of a thorough investigation on the killings of five members of the agency in June, and the US military’s use of humanitarian aid for military and political motives. According to the Associated Press, Medecins Sans Frontieres has been in Afghanistan for 24 years and currently has 80 volunteers and 1,400 staff in the country who provide health care and support hospitals in nearly half of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces.

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Press 7/28/04; Reuters 7/28/04; Feminist Daily News 7/8/04

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