Armed men seize urns from Malian polling stations: officials

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 24, 2013 1:34 PM
Armed men seize urns from Malian polling stations: officials

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Armed men burst into voting stations in the region of Timbuktu in northern Mali and carried off ballot boxes, preventing voters from casting their ballots in Sunday's legislative elections, officials said.

"There was no voting in several communes of Goundam," said Oumou Sall Seck, mayor of the town and a member of the opposition URD party.

He said well-organised armed men travelling in several vehicles had burst into some voting stations and carried off the urns, while in others materials simply went missing.

He said there was no voting in at least five of the 16 communes of Goudam, some 65 km (40 miles) from the ancient caravan town of Timbuktu. Electoral officials also reported gunmen taking electoral materials near Lere, 160 km (100 miles) southeast of Timbuktu.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo and Adama Diarra; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Andrew Roche)