Taliban Cuts Fingers Off Voters

Attacks kill dozens as voters defy threats
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2014 3:05 AM CDT
Taliban Cuts Fingers Off Voters
Afghan men whose fingers have been cut off by Taliban fighters as a punishment for voting rest in a hospital in Herat, west of Kabul.   (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)

Voting in this weekend's presidential run-off poll in Afghanistan was "relatively peaceful," the BBC reports—but in Afghanistan, "relatively peaceful" can include Taliban attacks that killed more than 50 voters and mutilated nearly a dozen more. To prevent fraud, Afghans are required to dip a finger in ink after voting, and officials say militants cut the fingers off 11 men in Herat province to punish them for voting after having been warned not to.

"These ordinary Afghans were exercising their fundamental right to determine the future path of their country through voting and not through violence and intimidation," the UN mission in the country said in a statement condemning the mutilations. "By their vote, they already defeated those who promote terror and violence." Some 60% of Afghanistan's eligible voters turned out to choose between former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, reports the AP. The final results won't be released until late next month. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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