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Afghanistan at UN to Taliban: ‘Join us in peace, or we will continue to fight’

Hamdullah Mohib made the comments at the United Nations General Assembly just days after the heavily-secured Afghan presidential elections in which at least 2.2 million people voted, with more votes to be gathered.

The militant group threatened attacks leading up to election day, causing many voters to stay home.

Thirteen election staff members have been kidnapped since Saturday (September 28) by the Taliban, and 11 others were wounded on election day, election commission spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said.

Mohib said despite threats, Afghans sought to exercise their right and he thanked the U.S. and NATO allies for helping to secure the country.

“Around three million Afghans faced the threat of terrorism and risked their lives to vote in our young democracy’s 4th presidential election. Those who voted included men and women; the very old, some voting for perhaps the last time, and the very young, those voting for the very first of many times; those living with a disability, for whom the journey was longer and more tiresome; some who came out despite having their fingers cut off by Taliban during previous votes. We all voted not just for a president, but we also voted for democracy. We voted for our constitution. We voted for freedom and sovereignty. We voted for prosperity and connectivity. We voted for peace. We voted for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” he told delegates while raising a finger dyed with ink.

Preliminary results of the poll are not expected before Oct. 19 and final results not until Nov. 7.

The Taliban said on Saturday that low turnout underlined that the election was illegitimate and that Afghan people do not accept “foreign imported processes.”

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