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September 20, 2019
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Taliban Bombing Kills Parliamentary Candidate Ahead of Afghan Elections

KABUL: In a latest attack on Afghan election process, a bomb ripped through the campaign office of a leading parliamentary candidate in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the troubled Helmand province on Wednesday, killing Abdul Jabar Qahraman and inuring eight others.

Hours after the bloody blast, Taliban outfit claimed responsibility, and the armed outfit said their fighters “have killed Jabar Qahraman a renown communist” who, according to the Taliban militants’ claim, had served the government.

Had served as an army general in the 1990s and a legislator after the fall of Taliban regime in late 2001, Qahraman was a leading candidate for Wolesi Jirga or the lower house of Afghan parliament slated for Oct. 20.

The late Qahraman had also served as special envoy of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for peace, political and military affairs of Helmand province, a stronghold of Taliban outfit notorious for growing poppy and militancy.

President Ghani, in a statement released by his office, blamed the “terrorists” for killing Qahraman and condemned the deadly attack in its strongest term.

Similar attack on an election rally of a female candidate in the northern Takhar province on Saturday left over a dozen dead and nearly two dozen injured.

The Taliban group that has vowed to sabotage the parliamentary elections has asked the people to stay away from polling stations on the voting day. More than 50,000 troops, according to the Interior Ministry, have been deployed to ensure security for elections.

More than 2,500 candidates are contesting the 249 seats of Wolesi Jirga, or the lower house of Afghan parliament, elections to be held on Saturday amid tight security.