Mo­tor­cy­cle bomb blast at Afghan can­di­date’s rally kills 13

The National - News - - NEWS -

A mo­tor­cy­cle rigged with ex­plo­sives blew up at an election rally in north-east­ern Afghanistan yes­ter­day killing at least 13 peo­ple, in­clud­ing civil­ians and po­lice.

Khalil Aser, po­lice spokesman in Takhar prov­ince, said 32 oth­ers were wounded when the bike parked near the rally in Rus­taq dis­trict ex­ploded.

The at­tack took place at about noon be­fore Nazefa Beg, a fe­male can­di­date run­ning for a seat in par­lia­ment in the Oc­to­ber 20 elec­tions, ar­rived at the rally. It was not im­me­di­ately clear if she was the tar­get.

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

It was not the first at­tack on a po­lit­i­cal cam­paign.

Last week, the Tal­iban con­demned the elec­tions and told can­di­dates that they would be tar­gets if they took part.

There are 2,565 can­di­dates vy­ing for seats in the 249-mem­ber cham­ber, in­clud­ing 417 women.

In the run-up to cam­paign­ing, five can­di­dates were killed in sep­a­rate at­tacks and an­other two ab­ducted, with their fates un­known. Three have been wounded.

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