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News Link • Afghanistan

Taliban kidnap 19 officials on eve of Afghan vote

The Taliban kidnapped 19 people associated with Afghanistan's parliamentary election, including a candidate, eight ballot officials and 10 campaign workers, officials said on Friday.

The candidate was snatched in the eastern province of Laghman and the other 18 men in Bagdhis, in the northwest, provincial chiefs of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) told AFP.

"Abdul Rahman Hayat, a candidate for the Wolesi Jirga (lower house), was kidnapped in Alishing district today at around 7:00 am (0230 GMT)," said Abdul Rahman Muhabat, head of the IEC in Laghman province.

Afghanistan is due to go to the polls on Saturday to elect 249 lawmakers.

The Taliban, nine years into a vicious insurgency, have threatened attacks to disrupt the poll and have already killed three candidates in the run up to the vote.

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