Local News Summary - Sept 15

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In today's local and international news: end of campaign period tonight; anti-US protest in Kabul; bomb attack in Herat; the perils of being a woman candidate; ballot problems in Nuristan; security concerns in Kunduz but none, say security chiefs, in Paktia.

End of Election Campaigns and the Beginning of Silent Period IEC, Sept 15

The campaign period for Saturday's Wolesi Jirga Elections ends tonight (Wednesday) at midnight. "If the electoral campaign is continued during the silence period, any such activity will be deemed as serious electoral campaign activities beyond the deadline and during the silence period." For the full press release see here [pdf].

15 Wounded in Anti-American Protest in Kabul
TOLO, Sept 15

Thousands of Afghans demonstrated on the streets of the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday, chanting death to Americans, the Afghan president and the obscure US pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Quran, officials and witnesses said. At least one person was killed and nine protesters and 16 policemen were wounded in the protest that came days after the pastor of a Florida church said he had changed his mind about burning Islam's holy book, and just three days before the September 18 parliamentary election.
However, a Pashtu website Benawa published a report saying the Quran had been burnt in New York, at the site of the World Trade Center, inciting  Afghan anger. [TOLO] [PAN]

Blast at Music Concert Leaves 13 Injured in Herat
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 13

A powerful blast outside a stadium in western Herat province left at least 13 people wounded late Tuesday, an official and medics said. The blast took place at about 8pm outside the Herat stadium near the governor's house after a concert by famous Afghan pop singer Farhad Darya. [PAN]

Afghan Women Join Fight for Election
Channel 4, Sept 13

Despite death threats and intimidation, a record number of women are contesting seats in this month's Afghan parliamentary elections.  But Channel 4 News International Editor Lindsey Hilsum, who travelled to Bamiyan earlier this year, says women there still live in fear of the Taliban. Fighting a political campaign in Afghanistan has inherent dangers; especially for women. [Channel 4]

Two Districts in Nuristan Without Polling Material
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 14

Two districts in the remote eastern province of Nuristan still have not received any polling material, with just days to go until the September 18 election, the governor said on Tuesday. Jamaluddin Badr said there would be no voting in Mandol and Barg-i-Matal districts if they did not receive polling materials in time for Saturday's vote. [PAN]

Younus Qanuni: Lack of security is One of the Difficulties in the way of the Election 
8am, Dari daily, Sept 15

Yunus Qanooni, the Speaker of the Wolesi Jirga and a candidate for Kabul province, has expressed his concerns with the election security situation. He has asked the security officials to provide security to all polling centers and ensure elections officials open all the polling centers on election day. Mr Qanooni also said that this election is different from the previous elections in the sense that ballots would be counted at the polling centers immediately after the election, which would reduce the possibility of election fraud.

Concerns in Kunduz over election security and fraud still exists
8am, Dari daily, Sept 15

There are only a few days left to the day of election. However, there are still security and election fraud concerns looming over the election in northern Kunduz province. Out of the 217 polling centers 47 are identified as facing serious security problems and 15 medium-level security problems. Many people are also worried about election fraud in the province. There are reports that some candidates are buying voter registrations cards for 600 afghanis each.

Security For Elections in Southern Zone
Pajhwok Afghan News, Sept 13

Security officials on Tuesday assured voters in the southeastern province of Paktia that they would be able to cast their ballot without fear on September 18.Border police chief for the zone, General Nabi Mullakhel, said a large number of troops, both Afghan and foreign, had been deployed to some of the more troubled areas to provide security. [PAN]