Afghans Vote In Parliamentary Poll Amid Taliban Threats

"People in Afghanistan are voting in key parliamentary elections amid threats from the Taliban, who have vowed to disrupt the vote. Six security force members were killed in a Taliban attack in the north, and at least five people were killed in other attacks across the country. More than 2,500 candidates are vying for 249 seats in the lower house of parliament, or Wolesi Jirga. The poll is seen as a test of credibility for President Hamid Karzai. Afghan soldiers and police are on alert, backed up by nearly 150,000 foreign troops. The poll is the first since since a fraud-marred presidential election last year, and comes after months of pledges of reform. Nearly 6,000 polling stations in 34 provinces will stay open until 1600 local time (1130 GMT). About another 1,000 stations have not opened because of security fears. Voting so far has been slow, and turnout appears to been thin, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul. The Taliban have warned voters to boycott the poll and ""stick to jihad"". In what correspondents say is a thinly-veiled threat, the Taliban said it had ""chalked out certain measures... to frustrate this American process and will implement them on the day when the illegitimate process of elections is conducted""."