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Boycott runoff poll: Taliban to Afghans

world Updated: Oct 24, 2009 19:32 IST
AP
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Taliban fighters warned Afghans not to take part in the war-wracked country's upcoming presidential runoff, threatening on Saturday to launch a fresh wave of violence on polling day to stop them.

The warnings came on the first official day of campaigning for the November 7 vote. The militant group denounced the race between President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah as "a failed, American process" and said its fighters would "launch operations against the enemy and stop people from taking part".

The statement said Taliban militants will also cut off key roads and highways, and warned that anyone who casts a ballot "will bear responsibility for their actions".

Taliban fighters killed dozens of civilians during the first round on August 20, barraging several southern cities with rocket-fire and cutting off the ink-stained fingers of at least two people who cast ballots in the militant south.

Security fears are just one of the challenges election officials face as they scramble to organize a new election amid a swelling Taliban insurgency before the advent of winter, which begin around much of the country around the middle of November, isolating remote villages and cutting off roads with snow.