Poll Worker Killed As Mali Holds Tense Presidential Runoff Vote

Poll worker killed as Mali holds tense presidential runoff vote

Bamako, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 12th Aug, 2018 ) :A polling station chief was killed by suspected jihadists in northern Mali as insecurity disrupted a presidential runoff on Sunday.

Security had been drastically boosted ahead of the election's second round between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and former finance minister Soumaila Cisse. But several polling stations were closed in the restive central and northern regions due to security concerns.

"Jihadists came this Sunday around 13:30 (1330 GMT) to a polling station in Arkodia," in the restive northern Timbuktu region, a local official told AFP.

"They asked everyone to put their hands up.

The polling station president tried to escape. The jihadists shot and killed him," the source said.

The first round vote on July 29 was marred with violence and threats from armed groups that led to several hundred polling stations being closed -- but no casualties had been reported.

Authorities in the vast West African nation said Saturday they had disrupted a plot to carry out "targeted attacks" in the capital Bamako on the eve of the vote.

Sunday's ballot in Mali is a rerun of a 2013 faceoff between Keita, 73, and Cisse, 68, amid a wave of jihadist bloodshed and ethnic violence.

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