Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tight Security in Place for Elections Day in Afghanistan

Via VOA News -

Top government officials responsible for security in Afghanistan say there is no way to ensure the Taliban will not be able to cause civilian casualties before the election or on the day of voting. Afghanistan's military is declaring a one-day unilateral cease-fire for election day Thursday, saying troops will only take defensive positions to prevent Taliban violence against polling stations.

The top government ministers responsible for security are defending their efforts four days before the presidential election and one day after a Taliban suicide car bombing in the capital. The attack outside the front gates of NATO headquarters in the most heavily guarded part of the capital killed seven people and injured nearly 100.

Speaking to reporters, the interior minister, the defense minister and the national security chief gave no promises there will not be another such event this week, but said they are doing their best to protect voters.


"Such terrorist attacks will not break the resolve of our nation. They [voters] will go to polling stations. They will vote for the person of their choice," said Atmar. "And they will show again and demonstrate their remarkable courage and resilience."

The defense minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak, noted that even nations with "100-fold" more security resources, mentioning the United States, Britain, Spain, India, Indonesia and Pakistan, have not been able to prevent all attempted terrorist attacks.

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