Parliamentary elections were held on Saturday, October 20, and extended through October 21 after voting was disrupted by deadly attacks and technical issues at polling stations. Both days of voting were marked by violence, notably low-yield IED (improvised explosive device) attacks to deter civilians from voting. Officials recorded 192 attacks, including 76 on polling stations, resulting in 67 dead and 238 wounded across the country. Deadly incidents were reported in the capital Kabul, as well as in Baghlan, Kunar, Kunduz, Nangarhar, and Paktiya provinces. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) reported that 4 million Afghans voted in the election, which equates to half of eligible voters.
Elections in Kandahar province, which were postponed following a deadly Taliban attack on high-profile Afghan military figures on October 18, will be held on October 27.
Preliminary results are expected to be made public between early and mid November. Further attacks against the government, security forces, and the IEC are anticipated.
Afghanistan hosted its parliamentary elections after a three-year delay and despite threats from the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) to punish participants and disrupt the vote. The government deployed more than 70,000 troops to secure polling stations, one-third of which remained closed due to security risks and technical issues. Elections in Ghazni province have been postponed indefinitely, due to militant activity.
Individuals in Afghanistan are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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