Members of the Taliban stand at the site of the execution of three men in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, April 18, 2015. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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The Taliban issued a fresh call for Afghans to boycott this week's parliamentary elections on Thursday, denouncing the vote as a foreign-imposed process that went against both Islam and Afghan culture.The Taliban's strong opposition to the vote comes against a backdrop of contacts with U.S. officials over possible talks to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, with both sides attempting to secure the upper hand before any formal negotiations begin.The elections, which have been repeatedly delayed, are seen as a key credibility test for Afghanistan's democratic institutions but with two days left until the vote, officials were still rushing to complete preparations.The lower house of parliament, with 249 seats and an extra seat reserved for the small Sikh community, has little power but the elections are seen as a vital step before more important presidential elections in April next year.
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