The Afghan government is implementing a wide range of high-security measures over the next few days before the upcoming parliamentary elections, an official said yesterday. The election security measures will include closing one of the main borders with Pakistan on Saturday. The border will be closed on Saturday morning, the day of the election, and will reopen after polls close at the end of the day, said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
In Afghanistan's capital Kabul, between 10 and 14 additional checkpoints will be created in each police district for the election, one police official told dpa. Motorbikes and some vehicles have been banned in Kabul, Lashkargah and other cities since Thursday. Trucks and vans will be prohibited in Kabul starting Friday night, and all large vehicles will be prevented from entering the city from any of its entry points on the day of the election, said Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police. Security is a top priority in the southern province Helmand, which has been affected by a series of bloody election-related incidents. In the past 10 days, two parliamentary candidates were assassinated in Helmand. A total of 10 candidates have been killed across Afghanistan in recent months.
A total of 54,000 troops, including national and local police members of the Afghan army and intelligence operatives, will be deployed on Saturday to secure around 5,100 polling centers across the country.