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MoI Assures Candidates of Campaign Security

Officials from the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Sunday announced that special precautions had been taken for preventing insurgent attack during the Presidential campaigns running from today through mid-March.

The MoI officials urged the eleven candidates to cooperate with the police provided for them as much as possible so as to ensure maximum effectiveness.

The MoI's statement came just the day after unknown gunmen shot dead two aides of Afghan presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in the western city of Herat.

Shujahudeen and Dr. Faiz Ahmad Hamdard were shot dead Saturday night around 6:30 pm by unidentified gunmen driving a car, officials said.

"This is an unforgivable crime," Dr. Abdullah said.

Nevertheless, spokesman of the MoI Sediq Sediqqi announced on Sunday that the Ministry had taken all the necessary steps to provide security for the Presidential campaigns.

"The security forces have made their preparations all over Afghanistan," Sediqqi said. "We will put all our efforts and resources that we have into securing the campaign process through election day, and we are not facing any special challenges or concern."

Security has been a top concern going into this year's elections, not only for the candidates contending the vote but also for the voters themselves. Many officials have expressed anxiety about insecurity in some of the more remote areas of the country being enough to dissuade eligible voters from showing up to the polls on election day.

The MoI and other security offices provided the Independent Election Commission (IEC) an updated report on security conditions around the country two weeks ago. In the report, it said that only about 400 out of over 6,000 polling sites were under threat, and that those would be addressed soon.

However, members of the Lower House on Sunday maintained that security in a number of parts of the country was still a serious issue and suggested that the report was deceptively optimistic.

"The report provided by the security institutions is not acceptable from our perspective," MP Mirdad Nejrabi said. "There are provinces that are insecure; in many provinces, only the center of the province is secured while its surrounding districts are insecure and other areas are not under government control."

Local officials of the Baghlan, Kunduz, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Nimroz, Badghis, Farah, Herat, Ghor, Nangarhar, Zabul, Ghazni and Wardak provinces announced today that they are ready to provide security for Presidential campaigns. They urged all of the candidates to visit the provinces for their campaigns.

Sunday, 02 February 2014, TOLO News

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