Taliban vow to intensify pre-poll attacks in Afghanistan | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban vow to intensify pre-poll attacks in Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Taliban militia vowed today to intensify its attacks in the build-up to next week's run-off presidential election after an attack on a guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul.

world Updated: Oct 29, 2009 20:33 IST

Afghanistan's Taliban militia vowed on Thursday to intensify its attacks in the build-up to next week's run-off presidential election after an attack on a guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul.

"We'll intensify our attacks in the coming days. We'll disrupt the elections," Taliban spokesman Yousuf Ahmadi told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

"We have new plans and tactics for attacks to disrupt the elections," the spokesman emphasised.

Attacks by the Taliban, toppled by US-led forces in late 2001, were a major deterrent to voters in the first round of the election on August 20 when turnout in some provinces was as low as five per cent.

Almost 200 violent incidents around the first vote were attributed to the Taliban, including amputations of fingers marked with purple ink as proof of voting, and rocket and grenade attacks on polling stations.

The Afghan defence ministry has claimed the Taliban were not in a position to carry out attacks on such a scale in the countdown to a run-off on November 7, arguing they had not the time to prepare for such an offensive.

But Ahmadi said on Wednesday's assault on the guesthouse in Kabul, which left at least five foreign UN staff dead, showed that President Hamid Karzai's government could not prevent attacks.

"Their measures are not effective against our operations and tactics," he said.