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Afghan Taliban order their fighters to disrupt April election, warn Afghans against voting

A Taliban spokesman says the group has warned Afghans not to take part in the April presidential election and that it has ordered its fighters to disrupt the vote.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid says the Taliban are also telling clerics across to country to spread the word that the election is "an American conspiracy."

Mujahid's statement, emailed to media on Monday, is the Taliban's first formal threat of violence over the April 5 vote.

It tells Afghans they should "reject completely" the election and not put themselves in danger by going to the polls.

Mujahid did not specify what kind of attacks the Taliban plan but in the 2009 presidential election, the militants assaulted and killed election workers, targeted candidates and also attacked voters, in some cases cutting people's fingers off.