June 12 - As Afghan election workers prep for a crucial presidential run-off, the army is out in force to assure voters of their security during the election. Mana Rabiee reports.
A show of strength in the northern Afghan district of Qarabagh. The army came out in force on Thursday, ahead of a presidential run-off vote set for Saturday. The local army commander, totally confident that voters will be safe at the polling booths. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) ARMY COMMANDER, MAJOR SHAH MAQSOOD, SAYING: "We guarantee their security 100 percent. They should go and vote." Security is being ramped up so the two candidates can continue campaigning. This, after an assassination attempt on the front-runner last week killed 12 people and wounded at least 40 others. Despite the security threat, locals are determined to vote for the man who will replace President Hamid Karzai. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) RESIDENT OF QARABAGH DISTRICT, TORYALI KHAN, SAYING: "We are ready to go and cast our vote in any condition. This is our right." In the capital, Kabul, election staff are hard at work. Last month's first round in Afghanistan's crucial presidential election was an unexpected success. The Taliban failed to deter millions of voters in the larger cities and turnout was high. (SOUNDBITE) (PASHTO) VILLAGER FROM QARABAGH, NASRATULLAH DERGIWAS, SAYING: "The Taliban threat won't stop us from casting our vote; we will go in big numbers and cast our votes." But this run-off will likely be more difficult. The Taliban summer offensive will be in full swing. And the end of May was especially violent, with more than 350 incidents in just one week.