Aug 31 2009
Lal Mohammad was determined to stand against Taliban threats and exercise his right to vote in Afghanistan’s presidential election. The 40-year-old farmer was beaten and mutilated by the Taliban who cut off his ears and part of his nose in the shocking attack.
Horrifying pictures show a fearful Mohammad recovering after he was ambushed by Taliban fighters as he walked to a polling station last week.
The Taliban vowed to disrupt the August 20 vote, threatening reprisals against voters and staging scores of rocket attacks and several bombings across the country on election day. The threats and violence failed to stop the election from taking place, but they do seem to have hurt turnout in some areas, especially the Taliban heartland in the south.
Mohammad was in pain and in tears as he gave the gruesome account of his ordeal. He described how militants stopped and searched him while he was on his way to a polling booth. They beat him with the butt of an assault rifle after they found his voting card. Then they took out a knife. ‘I saw one reaching my nose with a knife. I asked him to stop, but it was useless,’ Mohammad said.
‘I regret very much getting the card and going to vote.’ Mohammad described how he lay bleeding and unconscious for several hours, coming to only after a man from his village spotted him and put him on the back of a donkey.
Election officials have reported scattered incidents in which militants cut off voters’ fingers stained with indelible ink. The ink was meant to prevent multiple voting but it also helped the militants pick out people who had cast their ballots. UK DAILY MAIL
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