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Taliban set ablaze Afghan voting stations: official

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 19:31 IST

AFP
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Taliban militants set ablaze three polling stations in restive western Afghanistan on Thursday, destroying all votes cast and other materials, a district governor said.

The militants in the western province of Herat's volatile Shindand district stormed the polling stations as people were still casting their ballots in landmark presidential and provincial council elections, the governor said.

"They set ablaze the polling stations -- the building, the ballot papers and all voting materials have been burnt," said the governor, Lal Mohammad Omarzai.

There were no casualties among voters, he said. The attack was in an area called Zirkoh, where insurgents have a strong influence.

The Taliban stepped up attacks in the run-up to the election and vowed to disrupt polling day. Authorities and witnesses reported a spate of incidents across the country but few caused much damage.

Observers said however that turnout appeared to be low.

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