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Voters in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar are going to the polls in parliamentary elections on Saturday, one week later than the rest of the country, delayed due to a high-profile assassination.

After waiting a week to cast their votes, Kandahar residents have finally been able to post their ballots in this parliamentary election.

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Washington's top commander in Afghanistan General Scott Miller had earlier escaped unhurt in an attacked by the Taliban.

However, Independent Election Commission (IEC) said no poll would be held in the restive Maruf and Nish districts, as no voters have so far been registered there.

Despite delays caused by technical and organisational glitches, voters waited patiently to cast their vote.

The Taliban-claimed blast happened as the bus entered a police compound in the Wardak provincial capital of Maidan Shar, provincial police spokesman Hekmatullah Durrani told AFP.

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"Most of the complaints are against the voter's registration lists, the second complaints were against the observers - that some observers were encouraging people to vote for their favorite candidates - but the main challenge was the late opening of the stations and the lack of materials", said Karimullah Stanikzai head of IECC regional office.

IEC figures show roughly 4.2 million out of the almost nine million people registered to vote actually cast a ballot.

Scores of attacks marred the first day of the election on October 20, with an AFP tally showing almost 300 civilians and security forces were killed or wounded in poll-related violence.

These legislative elections are the first in Afghanistan to make use of biometric devices at voting centers.

More than 2,500 candidates, including mullahs, journalists and sons of warlords, are competing for 249 seats in the lower house.

Unofficial election results of the parliamentary balloting are not expected before mid-November and official results sometime in December.


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