Stakes high in Afghan election as US seeks peace pact

  • Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa, left, stands with the head of NATO troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, center, and a translator, during a meeting, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. The three top officials in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province were killed, including Wesa, when their own guards opened fire on them at the security conference Thursday, the deputy provincial governor said. A Taliban spokesman said the target was Miller, who escaped without injury, according to NATO. (AP Photo)

  • Trucks are parked at Pakistan-Afghanistan border Torkham, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. Pakistan closed its two official border crossings with Afghanistan, the foreign ministry said. The development came at the request of the Afghan government, which routinely accuses Pakistan of harboring Taliban militants, a charge Islamabad denies. The crossings would remain closed Friday and Saturday. (AP Photo/Qazi Rauf)

KABUL, Afghanistan — The stakes in Saturday’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan have never been higher, coming just two days after the Taliban assassinated two top provincial officials in an audacious attack on a security conference attended by the top U.S. military commander in the country.