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More than half of Afghans polled say they are afraid to take part in the democratic process such as voting and attending peaceful protests. The annual poll was conducted by the Asia Foundation, a non-profit international development group.

The Taliban has targeted polling stations in recent years. And with a new presidential election scheduled for April, the lack of confidence in the electoral process is raising concerns for those who fought a war to bring democracy to Afghanistan.

In addition, the report finds that three out of four people in Afghanistan say they fear U.S. troops who remain in their country. It also found that more than 75% of respondents say they would "be afraid when encountering international forces." About 46,000 U.S. troops remain in the country more than 12 years after the invasion triggered by the 9/11 attacks, making Afghanistan the longest conflict in U.S. history.

Respondents are however, more confident in the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army. About nine out of ten people say the NATO-trained Afghan army is "honest and fair with the Afghan people" and helped "improve security." More then 70% feel the same confidence in the Afghan police.

The survey highlighted decreased support for "armed opposition groups" such as the Taliban, with 35% of people saying they had a little or a lot of sympathy for them. That is down from 56% in 2009.

The Asia Foundation carried out interviews with a total of 9,200 Afghans throughout the country. The San Francisco-based organization has carried out the survey annually since 2004.


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