UN report calls voter center attacks 'assault on democracy'

The nearly two dozen recent attacks on voter registrations centers in Afghanistan are tantamount to an "assault on democracy," a United Nations report released Thursday says.

The report by the U.N.'s Assistance Mission in Afghanistan identified 23 separate incidents directed at disrupting preparations for planned October parliamentary elections. Some of the incidents involved threats and intimidation but several were brutal suicide attacks, including an attack on April 22 that killed 25 people gathered to register at a mosque in Kabul's Dast-e-Barchi neighborhood.

According to the report, recent attacks have left 271 civilians killed or wounded throughout Afghanistan.

"I am outraged by these attacks deliberately targeting civilians seeking to exercise their constitutional right to vote," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative for Afghanistan. "These attacks at election facilities are nothing less than an assault on democracy."

The report, "Emerging Trends of Election-Related Security Incidents in Afghanistan," said about 75 percent of all attacks since April 14 have taken place at schools or mosques used as voter registration places. Election staff have also been threatened.

So far the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan has taken responsibility for the attacks on election related venues.

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