Afghanistan's first parliamentary election since 2010 has been hit by violence and chaos, with several attacks killing at least 36 people. Authorities faced outrage over poor organization and technical glitches.
A suicide attack at a polling station outside Kabul killed at least 15 people on Saturday, with several others dying in scores of bombings, rocket attacks and incidents of violence across the country.
Over 170 people have reportedly been killed or wounded as voters went to around 21,000 polling stations.
Technical issues forced the closure of some of the stations, while voting hours were extended until Sunday in other areas.
How voting day was marred
Anger at voting irregularities
Many of the people trained to use the biometric machines did not show up for work, as Taliban warned the voters to boycott the ballot "to protect their lives."
One election observer from Kabul province told DW: "Everything is a mess ... nothing is working. The systems they have put in place are not functioning."
Sami Mahdi, a parliamentary candidate in Kabul, accused the election commission of "mismanagement." He added: "Our observers have also witnessed cases of fraud but we will have to assess these reports."
Yosuf Rashid, from the election oversight organization Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), said it was too early to pass a judgment on the whole process. "I hope by the end of the day, the election commission learns from its mistakes and addresses these issues tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Aziz Ibrahimi, deputy spokesman for the Independent Election Commission, admitted to DW that there had been some irregularities: "The commission has decided to extend elections in centers which did not start work on time. But we do not know how many centers will remain open tomorrow."
mm, dj/jlw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)