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Above 320 suffer casualties in attacks on election targets

Above 320 suffer casualties in attacks on election targets

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Oct 03, 2018 - 11:06

KABUL (Pajhwok): At least 127 people, including four Wolesi Jirga candidates, have been killed and another 194 wounded in attacks on election centers and candidates since the beginning of the voter registration process.

The Wolesi Jirga elections are scheduled for October 20. The voter and candidate registration process for the lower house polls began on April 14 and continued until September 27.

According to Pajhwok Afghan News reports, 28 attacks were carried out in 13 provinces including Kabul on election targets during this period.

Four candidates were killed and one wounded in these incidents.

Jalaluddin Salehi from Kabul, Mualvi Niazai from Parwan, Awtar Singh from Nangarhar and Mohammad Naser Mubriz from Kandahar province were the candidates who lost their lives to the assaults.

However, Baidar Zazai, a candidate from Kabul was injured.

The dead included 95 civilians, 10 attackers and 22 security forces and the wounded included 170 civilians, two attackers and 22 security forces.

 

Matiullah Kharoti, political affairs expert, said Kabul witnesses more attacks than other provinces because of high number of candidates and administration of polls from here.

“The reason of many attacks in Nangarhar is that the province is located on the Durand Line and militants can easily get reequipped from across the border, he said.

Presence of strongmen in Nangarhar province affected competitors, Kharoti said. However, casualties caused by these attacks were higher in Kabul, Khost and Badghis provinces.

Casualties in Kabul were high because Daesh attack on identity card registration process in Dasht-i-Burchi area that left 69 people killed and 120 others wounded. Most of the victims were civilians.

About attacks that inflict casualties mostly on civilians, Kharoti said one of the goals of the attack was to create problems for the election process. Another goal was to target Shia people as some of them were fighting against Daesh in Syria, he said.

Kharoti added that Daesh wanted to take revenge from their enemies in Afghanistan. “This is the result of Mohammad Mohaqiq’s cultivation in Syria and now our Shia brothers here are paying the price,” he said.

Second deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mohammad Mohaqiq last year in a conference in Iran appreciated Afghans fighting against Daesh in Syria.

Most of the victims of all 28 attacks were civilians.

 

No group has taken responsibility for 25 of the total 28 attacks.

According to reports, the attack on identity cards registration process in Dasht-i-Burchi area and the attack on Hindu minority in Nangarhar, in which a minority candidate Awtar Singh was also killed, has been claimed by Daesh.

Two other attacks happened in Samangan and Badghis provinces in which nine people suffered casualties have been claimed by the Taliban.

An attack in Shakar Dara district of Kabul, in which a Wolesi Jirga candidate, Jalaluddin Salehi was killed, is blamed on Afghan forces.

However, no groups has claimed responsibility for the rest of the attacks.

Matiullah Kharoti said the unclaimed attacks showed insurgent groups were not involved in them.

He said land grabbers, armed strongmen and those having lost interest in elections were involved in those attacks.

Pajhwok Afghan News tried to contact the Ministry of Interior for comment, but no one responded.

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