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Auditing process of votes cast ends

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(Last Updated On: September 5, 2014)

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Afghan election votes cast was completed Friday, officials said, but the results will not be known for days as the contentious process of invalidating fraudulent ballots continues.

Both presidential candidates claim to have won the June 14 election, triggering a political stalemate and rising ethnic tension as US-led NATO combat troops withdraw after 13 years of fighting the Taliban.

The United Nations has said the audit results should be finalized by September 10, with the delayed inauguration of President Hamid Karzai’s successor scheduled to be held soon after.

But poll rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have failed to come to an agreement on a national unity government, which was negotiated under a deal to save the country from slipping back into the ethnic division of the 1990s civil war.

The IEC will now compile results from the audited ballot boxes and decide which of the disputed votes should be thrown out, before a 72-hour window for appeals against its rulings.

Outgoing President Hamid Karzai decided not to travel to the summit, and Afghanistan was instead represented by Defence Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi.

NATO members had wanted a new president to attend the summit to prove that the country was becoming a functioning state after receiving billions of dollars in military and civilian aid.

 

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Daesh claims responsibility for mosque attack in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: October 16, 2021)

Islamic State (Daesh) claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber attack at a Shi’ite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar which left dozens killed and injured, a statement posted by the group’s Amaq news agency said on Friday.

The statement added that two Daesh fighters shot the guards of the mosque dead, broke in and blew themselves up between two groups of worshippers, one of which consisted of around 300 people.

It was the second week in a row that Daesh militants bombed Friday prayers and killed dozens of worshippers.

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World Mental Health Day: doctors call for release of kidnapped doctor

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(Last Updated On: October 10, 2021)

Doctors in Balkh province on Sunday, on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, called for the release of a doctor in the province who was kidnapped three weeks ago.

Doctors in Balkh regional hospital said that security forces should accelerate their efforts to release the kidnapped doctor.

This comes after the doctor, specializing in mental health issues, was taken hostage last month by unknown gunmen in Balkh.

Local officials in Balkh province said that several people have been arrested in connection with this case and that efforts have been stepped up to find the doctor.

Family members of the doctor are not however willing to talk to the media.

In addition to this, a boy kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Balkh province a year ago has still not been released.

Doctors in Nangarhar province meanwhile also marked World Mental Health Day and said that the number of mental health patients have increased in the province.

The doctors said that many of the cases are unemployed youths.

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Massive fire engulfs Balkh straw market

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(Last Updated On: October 5, 2021)

Three large straw markets, connected to each other, caught fire in northern Balkh province on Tuesday, resulting in huge financial losses to the stall owners.

According to sources, the fire broke out at about 1am on Tuesday morning, and destroyed a number of vehicles along with at least 100 stalls that sold straw and wood.

“Four or five vehicles, shops have been burnt,” said Abul Khaliq, an affected shopkeeper.

Mahmood, another affected shopkeeper said: “Thirty to 40 shops were burned in each market. There are three markets [connected]; fire broke out in the first one and spread to the others.”

Firefighters battled for several hours to extinguish the blaze but managed to stop the fire from spreading to nearby residential areas.

“We extinguished the fire, as you have witnessed. We have saved two-thirds (of the market). If we did not reach it in time, the fire could have spread to residential areas, and fuel stations,“ a firefighter said.

So far, the cause of the fire is not clear but Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan officials said the incident is being investigated.

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