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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Taleban 'kill voters in ambush'
Taleban rebels have shot dead seven people carrying voter cards ahead of the Afghan parliamentary elections on Sunday, local officials say.

The killings took place when a vehicle was ambushed in central Uruzgan province on Tuesday.

A Taleban spokesman said they carried out the attack but that the men were policemen, not civilians.

The Taleban oppose the polls and have stepped up violence, with about 1,200 people killed in the past six months.

Forces increased

Uruzgan governor, Jan Mohammed Khan, said those killed in the ambush in Gizab district were all men.

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They were found in their vehicle on a main road, carrying voter registration cards.

Mr Khan told Associated Press: "The Taleban are doing these terrorist activities and killing innocent Muslims. I don't know what kind of Muslims they are, finding voter cards and killing Muslims."

A Taleban spokesman, Abdul Latif Hakimi, told Reuters: "We killed seven policemen in Gizab, not voters."

US and Nato forces have been increased in the run-up to the elections.

Ballot boxes and an election worker
About 2,800 candidates are running for parliament on Sunday

About 2,800 people are running for parliament and another 3,000 competing for 34 provincial assemblies.

Five candidates are so far known to have been killed in attacks officials blame on the Taleban.

On Tuesday, President Karzai said a new approach might be needed to "defeat terrorism" and bring peace to Afghanistan.

"I believe we have to go to the sources of it, where terrorists are trained, where terrorists are prompted up," he said.

Nato defence ministers are currently in Brussels reviewing the deployment of the 11,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan.

The US also has about 18,000 soldiers in the country.


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