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Taliban Gives Poll Boycott Call

Kabul : The Taliban called on Thursday for a boycott of Afghanistan's parliamentary election after waging a campaign of violence and intimidation that has left three candidates dead. "We call on our Muslim nation to
PTI September 16, 2010 17:32 IST
PTI
Kabul : The Taliban called on Thursday for a boycott of Afghanistan's parliamentary election after waging a campaign of violence and intimidation that has left three candidates dead.

"We call on our Muslim nation to boycott this process and thus foil all foreign processes and drive away the invaders from your country by sticking to jihad and Islamic resistance," it said in an emailed statement.

More than 2,500 candidates are contesting Saturday's election for the 249 seats in the lower house of parliament in the second poll of its kind since the Taliban were ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion.

The insurgents have been fighting the Kabul government for almost nine years, have spread their footprint across most of the country and are widely perceived as having momentum in their favour.

Styling themselves as "the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," as during their 1996-2001 rule, the Taliban said they were "striving to foil these colonialist plans of the invaders including this deceptive process with the help of Allah and your Muslim countrymen".

Implying threats against the election process, the statement said the Taliban have drawn up "certain measures... to frustrate this American process and will implement them on the day when the illegitimate process is conducted". The militants issued threats last month saying anyone associated with the vote was a target.

In dozens of attacks, they have since killed three candidates, and in the worst incident so far shot dead five campaign workers in Herat. AFP