Beyond the Headlines podcast: Taliban bombings dampen Afghan elections

We discuss the Afghan election results and the violence that ensued during the first vote in a decade

Afghan men line up to cast their votes during a parliamentary election at a polling station in Kabul, Afghanistan October 21, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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For the first time in ten years, Afghans took to the polling stations to elect candidates to the National Assembly and take part in the future of their country.  But a series of violent attacks have put a damper on the democratic turnout. Afghan security forces claimed more than 100 attacks took place in the week leading up to the elections and on the day, killing 23 and wounding hundreds. The Taliban claimed most of the attacks, including bombing the office of one of the candidates in the south of the country.

The events represent a political reality in strife. The Taliban, who along with other insurgent groups control vast swathes of the country, attempted to curtail the elections. The attacks, which included suicide bombings, could be responsible for the low turnout. Of the 9 million registered to vote in the country, around 4 million showed up. Nonetheless, after years of delays and months of negotiations, the country has voted for the first time in a decade.

On this episode, we're joined by Ruchi Kumar, a Kabul-based freelancer, to answer two questions: what does this mean for the future of the country? And how will this affect the ongoing US negotiations with the Taliban over a potential peace deal?

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Read more:

Insurgent attacks mar Afghan parliamentary elections

Afghanistan delays vote in Kandahar after killing of commander

Afghan elections 2018: what you need to know