Afghan election candidate killed by bomb under office chair

Elias Hubbard
October 17, 2018

Afghan security officials check people beside an electoral billboard of Abdul Jabar Qahraman, a prominent Afghan politician and candidate of upcoming parliamentary elections, after he was killed in a bomb attack, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Oct. 17, 2018.

Wardak local officials claim that the airstrike was conducted in Charkh district of the province and four Taliban insurgents including Hassbullah known as Ghorzang a Taliban group leader was killed.

Wednesday's blast follows the deaths of 22 people last week in an explosion at an election rally for a woman candidate in the northeastern province of Takhar.

This comes as parliamentary candidate Saleh Mohammad had earlier lost his life in a suicide attack.

Another seven people were wounded in the blast in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

"Such brutal acts of the terrorists and their supporters can not weaken people's trust in the peaceful and democratic processes", President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement after Qahraman's death. At least ten candidates, including Qahraman, have died so far, majority murdered in targeted killings, reported AFP. Eight other candidates and scores of other people have died in recent weeks in separate election-related assaults.

Abdul Jabar Qahraman was the 10th candidate to die in recent weeks ahead of the polls, which are seen as crucial for Afghanistan's stability and another major test of how USA -led global efforts to cement democracy have changed the country.

Qahraman, a former army general under the Communist regime in the 1980s, had always been in the Taliban's crosshairs.

Parliamentary elections in the country are scheduled on Saturday.

The Taliban, who ruled from 1996 to 2001, have ordered Afghans to boycott the much-delayed polls in their battle to overthrow the Western-backed government and restore their own Islamist regime.

Preparations for the ballot have been a shambles and with days to go, organisers are still struggling to distribute voting materials to more than 5,000 polling centres.

More than 50,000 members of Afghanistan's already overstretched security forces are being deployed to protect polling centres on election day.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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