The Taliban has ordered its fighters to attack authorities and security forces who are helping organize this month’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, denouncing the process as “fake” and “completely bogus.”

The Islamist insurgency in a statement issued Monday called on candidates and voters to boycott the polls, insisting they are being held “for the sole purpose of legitimizing those stooges who are authorized by the occupying forces” in Afghanistan.

While responding to the Taliban’s first direct threat to disrupt the elections, a U.S. military spokesman noted the upcoming Afghan democratic process is moving ahead despite the challenge.

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