Taliban urge Afghan vote boycott, warn of violence

Doubts of violence and fraud are execution over Saturday's vote, in which almost 2,500 candidates are vying for 249 seats in the wolesi jirga or lower house of assembly.

Afghanistan's own election watchdog has warned of a "disputatious" procedure.

The poll is a test of constancy ahead of President Barack Obama's plan appraisal in December, which will likely look at the pace and scale of U.S. troop withdrawals.

President Hamid Karzai's trustworthiness with his allies is also on the line, after a fraud-marred presidential vote last year, with some observer warning that a repeat of that drawn-out poll would strain relationships and could play into the Taliban's hands.

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