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Afghan suicide bomber targets election rally

Afghanistan has witnessed another deadly bombing [AFP]

Date of publication: 14 October, 2018

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Afghanistan witnessed another bloody day of violence, when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally.

At least 22 people have been killed when a motorcycle rigged with explosives was detonated at an election rally in northeastern Afghanistan on Saturday.

Thirty-two others were injured, Khalil Aser, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Takhar province said, when the bomb-rigged motorbike parked near the rally in Rustaq district and blew up.

It happened moments before Nazefa Yusoufi Beg, a female candidate running for a seat in parliament in the 20 October 20 elections, arrived at the rally, he said.

Rustaq is a remote district where insurgent attacks have not occurred in the past and the people who attended the rally likely felt they were safe.

Many of the wounded were in a critical condition.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban insurgents are active in the province and have claimed pervious attacks there.

At least 68 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at an election rally.

Preparations for the ballot, which is more than three years late, have been in turmoil for months and there has been widespread speculation about whether the vote would go ahead. 

Bureaucratic inefficiency, allegations of industrial-scale fraud and an eleventh-hour pledge for biometric verification of voters threaten to derail the process and any hope of a credible result.

Some 54,000 members of Afghanistan's beleaguered security forces will be responsible for protecting more than 5,000 polling centres on election day.

More than 2,000 polling centres that were supposed to open will be closed for security reasons.

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