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Election crisis and war casualties add to Afghan woes

An Afghan policeman stands guard at the site of an overnight attack by Taliban militants in Chawk-e-Arghandi, on the outskirts of Kabul, on July 5, 2014Fighting in Afghanistan is spreading into populated areas, exacting a record toll on civilians, the UN warned Wednesday, as presidential candidates called on supporters not to escalate tensions after the disputed election result. The country’s political crisis and soaring civilian casualties have caused deep disquiet among Afghanistan’s international backers who sent soldiers and billions of dollars of aid to the country since 2001. Claims that a functioning state has been established to replace the harsh Taliban regime look at risk after presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah rejected the June 14 election result alleging he was the victim of mass fraud. Underlining the extent of the violence plaguing Afghanistan, the UN report revealed that civilian casualties soared by 24 percent in the first half of 2014.

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