[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 21 June, 2004, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
UN calls for Afghan poll back-up
Afghan women register to vote
Voters have been registering at a rate of 100,000 a day
The UN has called for more Nato troops to guarantee security at forthcoming elections in Afghanistan after an attack on a voter registration office.

Nobody was hurt when rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the UN office south of Kabul early on Monday.

But it underscored the risks to polls due in September from rising violence.

The UN's Afghan envoy Jean Arnault said the situation was becoming more volatile, and called on nations to offer more troops by the end of July.

He said Afghans had been registering to vote at a rate of more than 100,000 a day, demonstrating their enthusiasm for democracy.

Request for cash

"That very determination places an obligation on many other actors inside Afghanistan and outside Afghanistan," he said.

Mr Arnault called on Nato to dedicate more troops when it holds a summit in Istanbul at the end of June.

He also asked for the injection of tens of millions of dollars that had been promised by donor countries, but had yet to materialise.

"All the requirements prod us to turn again to the international community and say: 'The time is now'," he said.

He said a decision would be needed soon on whether the elections could go ahead.

The US military said the rate of voter registration proved the security situation is not deteriorating.


But on Monday an Afghan soldier was killed and another wounded after being attacked by assailants on motorbikes as they travelled to an election office near the city of Kandahar.

"The soldiers were our security guards," said an election co-ordinator.

"But this act won't stop the registration programme."

Local politicians blame the recent attacks on remnants of the Taleban and warlords trying to disrupt the elections.

Reuters reported that the Afghan government is sending hundreds of troops to Chaghcharan in Ghor province, to try to wrest control back from a renegade commander.

Several regional leaders have resisted attempts to disarm their forces before September's elections.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific