Mutilated Afghan farmer regrets going to vote
Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:03pm IST - By Sayed Salahuddin
KABUL (Reuters) - Lal Mohammad, a 40-year-old Afghan farmer, was one of millions of people who defied Taliban threats against voters and set out to cast his ballot in this month's presidential election. But he soon regretted his defiance.
Fighters ambushed Mohammad as he was walking to a polling station and cut off part of his nose and his ears.
The Taliban vowed to disrupt the Aug. 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, speaking haltingly in a hospital in the capital, Kabul, 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.
Read all here (Part 2, and 3): http://in.reuters.com/article/southAsiaNews/idINIndia-42109920090831?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0