Taliban cut off voters' fingers

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The Independent Online

An Afghan vote monitoring group said Taliban militants in Afghanistan's south cut off the fingers of two voters, carrying out a gruesome pre-election threat.

Nader Nadery of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said today that two voters in southern Kandahar province - the Taliban's spiritual birthplace - lost their fingers.

Nadery said the two fingers sliced off had been dipped in purple indelible ink, an anti-fraud measure, but one that identified voters to militants in dangerous, insurgent-held areas.

Rumours that militants would cut fingers off spread before Thursday's presidential vote. However, a Taliban spokesman said militants would not carry out such attacks.