Increase in violence surrounding Afghan elections

Afghanistan election posters (Photo: AFP)

Security is a major concern for international forces in regard to the upcoming elections in Afghanistan. Amidst campaigning for the August 20th presidential and provincial elections there has reportedly been an upsurge in violence, and rising insecurity in remote regions of the country. U.S. General Petraeus reported that this past week international forces witnessed the highest level of security incidents since 2001 despite increased U.S. troop levels and efforts to address the violence. Both NATO and Afghan police fear that the increase in violence will likely continue as insurgents target the August elections.

The onus of providing security for the elections will fall in large part on the international forces, a daunting task in the southern regions where Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson Zmarai Bashari says the military forces have no presence in 10 districts, nor reliable information on who controls those areas. Nevertheless Bashari and NATO insist that the elections will take place despite insurgent efforts to disrupt the process.

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