Kabul, Afghanistan (BBN)– Afghans have begun voting in the country's third presidential election to choose a successor to Hamid Karzai, who has led the country since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The Taliban have rejected the election as a foreign plot, and urged their fighters to attack polling staff, voters and security forces, the Geo News reported.

The NATO coalition force is pulling out its last 51,000 combat troops this year, leaving Afghan forces to battle the resilient Taliban insurgency without their help.

Poll security is a major concern following a string of high-profile attacks in the capital Kabul, most recently a suicide bombing at the Interior Ministry on Wednesday that killed six police officers.

Interior Minister Omar Daudzai said all 400,000 of Afghanistan's police,  army and intelligence services were being deployed to ensure security around the country.

The polling would end at 4:00 PM (local time).

BBN/SSR/AD-05Apr14-10:27 am (BST)