Rocket Attacks Hit Afghan Capital as Election Underway


Two rocket attacks were carried out in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, as people are voting in the presidential runoff in the country.

One of the rockets landed in a neighborhood of Kabul where the US embassy and the NATO headquarters are based. But, there has been no word on casualties yet, press tv reported.

The US embassy has been shut down and the staff ordered to take shelter.

Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they want to disrupt the election.

On Saturday, Afghan voters began going to the polling stations around the country to choose between former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and economist Ashraf Ghani.

Over 12 million people are registered to vote at some 6,365 polling stations across the country from 7 am local time. The ballots will be counted right after the polls close. Results are expected to be announced on July 2.

The voter turnout is expected to be less than it was during the first round of the vote on April 5, which saw a participation rate of over 50 percent.

The run-off election was necessary as none of the eight candidates in the first round received more than 50 percent of the votes required to win outright. During the first round, Abdullah secured 45 percent of the vote, while Ghani received 31.6 percent, after investigations into multiple fraud claims for both sides.

Thousands of security forces have been deployed across the country to provide security during the run-off election as the Taliban militants have threatened to disrupt the voting process.