A donkey is used to transport voting material to a polling location that is unreachable by vehicles in preparation of the upcoming elections, in Panjshir province, north of Kabul September 17, 2010. Afghanistan held parliamentary elections on September 18. UPI/Hossein Fatemi.. | License Photo
KABUL, Afghanistan, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Violence during Afghanistan's parliamentary elections Saturday kept 60 percent of eligible voters away from the polls and left 14 people dead, officials said.
Voice of America reported that as polls closed, the Interior Ministry said at least 11 civilians and three police officers had been killed. Dozens of others had been injured.
Forty percent of eligible Afghans voted despite threats of violence by the Taliban, the BBC reported.
It will be the end of October before the final results of the voting were known as ballots slowly trickled in from polls in areas so remote that donkeys were required to carry them.
There were 2,514 candidates vying for seats in the 249-member parliament. The vote also was seen as an indication of support for President Hamid Karzai.
The Taliban had urged Afghans to boycott the elections, which it called an "American process," and continue a jihad against the government.
About one-fifth of the country's 6,835 polling centers in 34 provinces were closed because of security concerns after rocket attacks and gun battles, the BBC said.
Many Afghans, however, braved the threats because they saw the benefits outweighing the risks.
"I came here because I want prosperity for Afghanistan, stability for Afghanistan," one voter in Kabul told the BBC. "But I am worried about security and fraud and I hope my vote goes to the person I picked to vote for."