x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

UN mission in Afghanistan voices concern as violence peaks ahead of elections  

UNAMA report follows 14 killed in attack on election rally 

 

An Afghan policeman stands as unseen volunteers carry an injured on a stretcher to a hospital, following an attack that targeted a parliamentary election rally in the Kama district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, in Jalalabad. AFP
An Afghan policeman stands as unseen volunteers carry an injured on a stretcher to a hospital, following an attack that targeted a parliamentary election rally in the Kama district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, in Jalalabad. AFP

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan voiced concern over the level of violence around the campaigning period for the parliamentary elections.

In a report issued on Tuesday UNAMA urged all actors to halt all violence and intimidation against candidates and voters.

“I am outraged by attacks deliberately targeting civilians seeking to exercise their basic right to participate in elections,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

UNAMA has registered several attacks since campaigning formally began on 28 September, including the killing of a candidate and three security guards, as well as the shooting of another candidate's agent and his son.

A suicide bomber struck an election rally in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province on Tuesday, killing at least 14 people and wounding around 40.

The attack, the first since campaigning began last week ahead of elections for the lower house of parliament, underscored the widespread violence gripping the country 17 years after the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban.

“This violence, including today’s reprehensible attack in Nangarhar, is an assault on the constitutional rights of the people of Afghanistan,” said the UN's Mr Yamamoto.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and ISIS are active in the province and opposed to elections.

"Most of the people killed or wounded are elders who had gathered for the campaign rally," said Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. He said some of the wounded were in critical condition, indicating the death toll could rise.

_________

Read more:

US drone strike kills 21 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, says military official

Rockets hit Afghan city during president's visit

UN concerned over spike in civilian deaths in Afghan air strikes