Afghan lawmaker, four others killed in Taliban blast ahead of elections

Afghanistan map

An Afghan lawmaker contesting this week’s parliamentary elections, Abdul Qahraman, was among four people killed by a bomb planted under his office chair, officials said on Wednesday.

“The MP, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, was killed as he prepared for Saturday election.

“Becoming the 10th candidate killed in the past two months with two more abducted and four wounded by hard line Islamist militants,’’ a senior government official said.

President Abdul Ghani, while condemning the attack, said such brutal acts by the terrorists and their supporters could not weaken people’s trust in the peaceful and democratic processes.

The Afghan Taliban has, however, claimed responsibility for the blast in the southern province of Helmand, saying in a statement.

“We have killed Qahraman, a renowned communist.”

The Taliban has ordered Afghans to boycott the much-delayed parliamentary polls in their battle to overthrow the Western-backed government and establish their own Islamist regime.

“Three men sitting in Qahraman’s office at the time were also killed,’’ interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said, adding that police had arrested three suspects in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the blast wounded seven people.

“A bomb was placed below Qahraman’s chair in his campaign office.

“We are investigating the incident,” Mr Zwak said.

Wednesday blast follows the death of 22 people recently in an explosion at an election rally for a female candidate in the north-eastern province of Takhar.


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