Suicide bomber kills 13 at election rally in Afghanistan

Suicide bomber kills 13 at election rally in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber struck an election rally in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 30, a provincial official said.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A suicide bomber struck an election rally in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and wounding more than 30, a provincial official said.

The attack, the first since campaigning began last week ahead of the elections for the lower house of parliament.

The vote is scheduled for Oct. 20 but it's unclear if the balloting will go ahead in areas controlled by the Taliban.

Tuesday's attack took place in Nangarhar's district of Kama as supporters of Abdul Naser Mohmand gathered in the afternoon to back his campaign as an independent candidate in the elections.

According to Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, some of the wounded were in critical condition, which added to concerns the death toll could rise further.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the resurgent Taliban and Afghanistan's ISIS affiliate are active in Nangarhar.

"Most of the people killed or wounded are elders who had gathered for the campaign rally," said Khogyani.

The election campaign kicked off last Friday with 2,565 candidates vying for a seat in the 249-member chamber, including 417 women candidates.

In the run-up to campaigning, five candidates were killed in separate attacks, including two in Kabul and one each in Nangarhar, southern Kandahar and northern Parwan province.

Also, officials from the country's Independent Election Commission said that two candidates were abducted and their fates remain unknown while three others were wounded in attacks.


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