AfghanistanThree NATO soldiers, two election workers, and five security guards, were killed Thursday in Afghanistan by rebels suspected to be linked to the Taliban.  The killings come two days prior to the second parliamentary vote in the country since the Islamic militia was removed in 2001.

There have also been threats from the Taliban.  They say there will be attacks on polling centers during the elections on Saturday.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has not released many details about the attacks on the soldiers.  It is known that the attacks on the soldiers were separate and took place in the southern part of the country.  There have now been 507 coalition troops killed in Afghanistan during 2010.  There were 521 in 2009.

The five security guards were killed when a road construction site’s security post came under attack by militants.  In addition to the five killed, two were injured and two are missing.

In a telephone call, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the Taliban, took responsibility for the attack on the guards.  He claimed that the missing guards were working with the Taliban and have now joined them.

The two election workers were killed in the Charbolak district of the northern Balk province.  The United Nations has not released any further information on those attacks.

No one claimed responsibility for the ISAF attacks or those on the election officials.