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Live Blog: Afghanistan Presidential Election 2014

17:03 5.4.2014
Afghanistan polls officially closed

Those already in line will still be able to vote.
16:43 5.4.2014
An important story by Frud Bezhan on all SMS communications being blocked by the Telecommunications Ministry today. There was no prior announcement of the move and some worry that it will seriously hinder the job of the 200,000 election observers.

These observers depend on texting to communicate with colleagues and report electoral irregularities. Observers have already complained of being unable to do their jobs properly because of the ban.

Bezhan says that some have speculated the move was either to prevent last-minute campaigning (illegal in the 48 hours before election day) or to deter Taliban attacks. In the past, militants have used mobile phones to detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
16:12 5.4.2014
Here's a picture from our Afghan Service of Sikhs after voting in Kabul. Members of the Sikh community, which numbers around 3,000 (but was once more than 100,000), recently spoke to Frud Bezhan about their disenchantment with the Afghan government. Many said they did not plan to vote today.
15:59 5.4.2014
Rocket attack in Nengahar province

A reporter for RFE/RL's Afghan Service in Nengahar province in the country's east says a doctor at the city’s main government hospital told him at least ten people have been injured in the attack. Local residents say the wounded include at least two children.
15:46 5.4.2014
Businesses are closed and security is tight in Kabul today, allowing the unexpected opportunity for street-acrobatics to flourish.
15:44 5.4.2014
Noor Mohammad Noor, the election commission spokesman, tells our Afghan Service that officials are redirecting voters at stations without sufficient ballots to different voting centers.
15:17 5.4.2014
15:13 5.4.2014
Reports of ballot paper shortages adding up

RFA reporters in Afghanistan’ northern provinces of Balkh, Jawzjan and Faryab say several voting centers are out of ballots.
15:11 5.4.2014
We've seen reports of ballot shortages throughout the country.
15:07 5.4.2014
The Afghan Election Commission spokesperson, Noor Mohammad Noor, says that 211 voting centers (about 4 percent) were not opened due to security concerns today. Earlier, the commission had predicted that as many as 10 percent of the stations would be closed. -- Freshta Jalalzai

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