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Above 500 killed, injured in lead up to Afghan polls

Above 500 killed, injured in lead up to Afghan polls

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Oct 17, 2018 - 19:37

KABUL (Pajhwok): Nine Wolesi Jirga candidates were among 186 people killed and 320 other people including three hopefuls wounded in nearly 50 attacks since early April until yesterday.

According to Pajhwok reports, between April 4 when the voter registration process began and the election campaign launch on September 28, at least 129 people, including six candidates, were killed and 194 others, including one Wolesi Jirga hopeful, injured.

The 20-day election campaign for the Oct 20 Wolesi Jirga elections began on Sept 28 and came to an end last midnight.

According to reports, 49 attacks happened on voter registration centres in Kabul and 18 provinces of the country since April 4 when the voter registration process began. In these attacks, 10 Wolesi Jirga hopeful were killed and two others injured.

The candidates who were killed included Jalaluddin Salehi from Kabul, Mualvi Mohammad Anwar Niyazi from Parwan, Awtar Singh Khalesa from Hindu Community, Mohammad Naser Mubarez from Kandahar, Syed Abdullah Sadaat and Mohammad Daud from Ghazni, Haji Hayat Khan from Nangarhar, Naser Mubares from Kandahar, Saleh Mohammad Achakzai and Abdul Jabbar Qahraman from Helmand province.

Qahraman, who was a sitting Wolesi Jirga member, was killed in a suicide bombing at his campaign office in Lashkargah, Helmand’s capital, on Wednesday.

The candidates who were injured in the attacks included Baidar Zazai from Kabul and Fereba Rahmani from Badaghis province.

In total 150 civilians were killed and another 187 injured. As many as 13 assailants were killed and three injured while 24 security forces were killed and 30 others wounded in the attacks on electoral targets.

 

 

Political affairs expert Matiullah Kharotai said most of the attacks happened in Nangarhar because the eastern province was located on the Durand Line and militants could easily cross the Durand Line to get equipped.

He added powerful individuals in Nangarhar also wanted to suppress their opponents through such attacks.

About the second highest number of attacks in Kabul, he said the number of candidates was higher in Kabul and all elections related matters were being controlled from Kabul, he said.

 

 

 

The number of casualties was also higher in Kabul because of a deadliest Daesh attack on a voter registration centre in Dasht-i-Burchi locality, in which 69 people were killed and over 120 injured, most of them civilians.

According to Kharotai, the purpose of the Kabul attack had been to disrupt the voter registration process and target the Hazara community.

He said the Daesh attack could be in retaliation to Hazara leader Mohammad Mohaqiq’s policies, who recently praised Afghans fighting in Syria.

Last year, the deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq thanked the Afghans who fought against Daesh rebels in Syria and Iraq and hailed their sacrifices. He called head of the Fatemyon’s force as a hero of Islam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kabul City resident, Rana Spesali, expressed his grave concern over growing civilian casualties and said: “The Afghans paid a huge price for elections as over 200 were killed and some 300 injured.”

He said the people of Afghanistna had long killed and injured under different names and their murderes remained undisclosed.

 

Daesh had claimed credit for the deadliest attack in Dasht-i-Burchi in Kabul and in Nanhagar where a Hindu minority candidate was killed.

Two attacks each in Samangan, Ghor, Helmand and Badghis provinces had been claimed by the Taliban.

According to reports, Afghan forces carried out an attack in Shakardar district, in which Wolesi Jirga hopeful Jalaluddin Saleshi was killed.

There was no claim of responsibility for the remaining 39 attacks.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najibullah Danish did not acknowledge Pajhwok reports regarding election casualties and said only 11 attacks had taken place so far. He said special arrangements had been put in place for the Election Day.

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