Don't miss




Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more


Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more


Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more


Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more


Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more


French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more


FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more


Deadly blast strikes election rally in northeast Afghanistan

© Noorullah Shirzada, AFP | Afghan volunteers carry an injured man following an attack at a parliamentary election rally in the Kama district of the eastern province of Nangarhar, in Jalalabad on October 2, 2018

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-10-13

At least 12 people were killed and more than 30 injured in an explosion at an election rally for a woman standing as a candidate in Afghanistan’s parliamentary polls on Oct. 20, officials said on Saturday.

Khalil Asir, a police spokesman in the northeast province of Takhar, said explosives were placed in a motorcycle near the rally, which was to have been addressed by the candidate, Nazifa Yousufi Bek.

“So far we received a report of 12 dead and 32 injured, the victims include security officials and civilians,” said Asir.

No militant group immediately claimed of responsibility for the attack.

Scores of people had gathered to listen to the candidate, but police said she was not at the rally at the time of the blast.

Candidates brave violence

Bek is one of 417 women contesting seats across the country, more than ever before, despite deadly suicide attacks on election rallies and offices apparently aimed at forcing voters to boycott the vote scheduled for Oct. 20.

Candidates, regardless of gender, are braving violence and opposition from social conservatives in a campaign seen as a test of the war-torn nation’s democratic institutions.

Five candidates, all men, have been killed in separate attacks so far. Another two have been abducted, and four others have been wounded by hardline Islamist militants, election officials said.

Takhar, a province bordering Tajikistan has long been a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency. The Taliban has directed Afghans to boycott the upcoming polls.

Meanwhile, Taliban leaders said they had met with the newly-appointed US special envoy for peace, Zalmay Khalizad, in Qatar on Friday to discuss ways to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

“Both sides spoke (about) an end to the occupation and peaceful solution to the Afghan issue ... Both sides agreed to continue meeting in the future,” Zabiullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesman, said in a statement on Saturday.

US officials in Kabul were not immediately available to comment on Khalilzad’s visit.


Date created : 2018-10-13


    Deadly twin blasts strike Afghan capital Kabul

    Read more


    Head of Islamic State Group in Afghanistan killed, says government

    Read more


    Hours-long battle in Kabul disrupts Afghan Eid celebrations

    Read more