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Sayed Jalal Karim

Sayed Jalal:20 policemen for each Afghan presidential runner

Sayed Jalal Karim 64%

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KABUL (AFP) — The Afghan government said Wednesday it would provide 20 policemen to protect each candidate in August presidential elections amid concerns about attacks by Taliban militants.

Forty-four men and women have signed up to run in the election and a final list of candidates is due to be announced on June 12 after a process of public scrutiny.

"Once the list of the candidates is finalised, each candidate will be provided with 20 police as bodyguards," interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP.

His comment came after one candidate, Sayed Jalal Karim, complained to journalists Tuesday that the interior ministry had turned down his request for armoured vehicles and weapons for his own protection.

Karim said authorities were being irresponsible about the security of the candidates.

Bashary said a security plan finalised for the August 20 elections involved the Afghan police, army and intelligence services as well the international forces currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Several countries wit troops in a NATO-led force have pledged extra troops for the polls, with fears that the Taliban-led insurgency could attack voters.


Original resource: Google News - May 27, 2009

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