Sunday, September 18, 2005

Afghans Defy Terrorists to Vote

Afghans voted for their legislature today despite threats of Taliban terrorist attacks.
"I am not afraid to go and vote. I want to vote. It is how we can fight this terrorism."

- Saifullah Haqmal

SALERNO , Afghanistan – For the third day in a row, Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Coalition forces stymied enemy efforts to disrupt elections as Afghan voters filled polling stations in every province today.

Afghan National Police, ANA and Coalition forces detained three suspected enemy fighters in Wardak and Ghanzi provinces; discovered and destroyed more than six improvised explosive devices in Khost, Kunar and Paktika provinces; fought off direct enemy attacks in Khost, Nangarhar and Paktika provinces; and discovered a weapons cache near the forward operating base at Salerno . ANP, ANA and Coalition forces have continued to work diligently to provide security to more than 6,100 polling sites across the nation.

“I am not afraid to go and vote. I want to vote. It is how we can fight this terrorism. I want to be able to choose who represents me in our government,” said Saifullah Haqmal, an Afghan student from Khost province. “I think it is important for everyone to participate in the vote for national and local Parliament. This election will bring a bright future for us.”
From the Associated Press:
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghans chose a legislature for the first time in decades Sunday, embracing their newly recovered democratic rights and braving threats of Taliban attacks to cast votes in schools, tents and mosques.
From Reuters:
KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban fighters failed to sabotage Afghanistan's first legislative elections in decades, with millions of voters turning out on Sunday for a ballot President Hamid Karzai called a defining moment for the nation.