Afghanistan said Sunday it will postpone parliamentary elections from May until September. The election commission cited several reasons for its decision: security concerns, logistical challenges and a budget shortfall.
The election is now scheduled for September 18 instead of May 22.
"The purpose of the election is for the people to manifest their will through their votes. If they cannot do that due to issues of security, technical reasons or fraudulent practices, if the issues of fraud that marred the presidential election last year have not been removed - then it is better to postpone the elections until such a time as these issues have been resolved," said Dauod Sultanzoy, a member of parliament. FULL POST
A new audio tape allegedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden claims responsibility for an attempt to blow up a plane en route to Michigan on Christmas Day and warns the United States of more attacks. The tape, which aired on the Arabic-language news Web site Al-Jazeera on Sunday, says "the United States will not dream of enjoying safety until we live it in reality in Palestine." The tape continues: "It is not fair to enjoy that kind of life while our brothers in Gaza live in the worst of miseries."
CNN could not independently confirm the authenticity of the message, but the CIA has in the past confirmed Al-Jazeera reports on tapes from the al Qaeda leader.
Insurgent fire killed three Afghan women and wounded three people in southeast Afghanistan on Saturday, military officials said. The group was traveling in a taxi in Paktika province when it was attacked by insurgents using guns, according to the International Security Assistance Force.
Three women were killed, and two males and one woman wounded, the international alliance said.The driver of the taxi took the victims to a nearby ISAF base, where they were treated, officials said.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a 16-year-old boy was killed when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in the Tanai district of Khowst province, ISAF said, adding that its own soldiers were not involved in the incident.Improvised explosive device incidents were up 60 percent in 2009 over the previous year, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reported in December.