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October 18, 2018

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Taliban kill politician with chair bomb

An Afghan politician contesting this week’s parliamentary elections was among four people killed yesterday by a bomb planted under his office chair.

Abdul Jabar Qahraman died as he prepared for Saturday’s election, a senior government official said, becoming the 10th candidate killed in the past two months by hard-line Islamist militants.

“Such brutal acts of the terrorists and their supporters cannot weaken people’s trust in the peaceful and democratic processes,” President Ashraf Ghani said.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast in the southern province of Helmand.

“We have killed Qahraman, a renowned communist,” they said.

Qahraman had spearheaded the formation of Sangorian, a secret militia trained by Afghan intelligence to infiltrate the Taliban.

The militia has been heavily targeted by the Taliban in recent years.

The Taliban, which ruled from 1996 to 2001, has ordered Afghans to boycott the much-delayed polls in their battle to overthrow the Western-backed government and restore their own hard-line Islamist regime.

Three men sitting in Qahraman’s office were also killed, said interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi. He added police had arrested three suspects in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

The blast wounded seven people, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

“A bomb was placed below Qahraman’s chair in his campaign office,” he added. “We are investigating.”

The Taliban also directed teachers not to set up their schools as polling stations.

The government has been training teachers to act as scrutineers and assistants for the election.


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