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Fighting Ensues on Eve of Afghan Elections | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, AP -Suspected Taliban rebels ambushed a police patrol in southern Afghanistan on the eve of landmark legislative elections, touching off an intense battle that left seven insurgents dead, officials said Saturday.

Taliban and other militants fear Sunday”s elections will marginalize them and are using violence to scare voters away in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the vote.

The guerrillas ambushed the police as they patrolled the main highway linking the capital Kabul with the southern city of Kandahar late Friday, said Gulam Rasool, a government chief in Sharisafar district.

An insurgent rocket slammed into a police car, setting it on fire, but all the officers inside managed to escape, he said.

Hopes are high Sunday”s vote will end a quarter-century of violence and entrench a fragile democracy by demonstrating public support for an elected government.