54,000 Afghan soldiers to ensure poll security

Kabul: At least 54,000 Afghan security force members will be deployed to ensure security of upcoming parliamentary and district councils elections scheduled to be held later this month, officials said on Thursday.

“Afghan National Security and Defence Forces are directed to take security of the parliamentary and district councils elections. Some 54,000 personnel will be deployed to provide security for 5,100 polling centres, election candidates and their campaign rallies,” Interior Ministry spokesperson Nasrat Rahimi told reporters.

Rahimi asked the election candidates to share information with the security forces, prior to holding their campaign meetings, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Tuesday, 14 people were killed in a suicide bombing on an election rally in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, that Rahimi said could have been foiled by the security forces if they were earlier informed about the gathering.

The first parliamentary election in the post-Taliban Afghanistan was held in 2005 while the second parliamentary polls took place in 2010.

However, the third parliamentary polls, originally set to be held in early 2015 following presidential elections, were repeatedly delayed.

[source_without_link]IANS [/source_without_link]