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Afghan Parliament Rejects Second Defense Minister Nominee

The Afghan parliament has rejected a second candidate for defense minister who was nominated by President Ashraf Ghani.

Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai received only 84 of the 231 votes that were cast. He needed 107 votes to be approved.

Ghani's failure to complete his government cabinet after nine months in office has angered many Afghans.

Stanekzai, who previously worked as chief of the High Peace Council charged with peace negotiations with the Taliban, was nominated as acting defense minister at the end of May and had taken charge of the army.

The first nominee for defense minister was rejected in January and another removed himself from being a candidate before a vote was held.

The Taliban and other Islamic militant groups have expanded their attacks in Afghanistan since U.S. and other foreign troops withdrew at the end of 2014.

Taliban forces have even captured some districts from Afghan forces.

NATO says 2,322 army, police, and security officers were killed from January to May 7, a 53 percent increase from the same period in 2014.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP