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Voters weary of Taliban violence

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:40

March 29 - Afghan voters are tired of violence as insurgents step up campaign. Masako Iijima reports.

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Scenes like this are an everyday sight at hospitals in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban movement. The planned withdrawal of foreign troops, tribal rivalry and in recent weeks the elections, have given a boost to violence And civilians are being caught in the crossfire. Abdul Wali was hoping to vote in the April 5 elections. But can't now after he stepped on a landmine most likely planted by insurgents. (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) ABDUL WALI, A LANDMINE VICTIM SAYING: "I ask the Taliban and the government to solve their issues based on Islamic foundations. I also ask the foreigners and Taliban to stop killing people. We have had enough. We want to have peace in this country not misery." The Taliban have declared all-out war on the polls, calling it a "Western-backed sham". Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election office last week and today the Election Commission headquarters. It sends a chilling message to voters, which could discourage them from casting their ballots. Many foreign observers, tasked with ensuring the election is fair, have already pulled out. In the 2009 elections, only four out of 13 million eligible voters went to the polls as violence rocked the country. Around one quarter of the ballots were annulled due to fraud. But the election results were deemed valid and Hamid Karzai continued for a second term. The upcoming polls are likely to follow a similar path -- violence and eventually, a new leader.

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Voters weary of Taliban violence

Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 01:40