UN mission in Afghanistan voices concern as violence peaks ahead of elections
UNAMA report follows 14 killed in attack on election rally
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.
Updated: October 2, 2018 09:40 PM