An suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an election campaign rally of a parliamentary candidate in Nangarhar province on Tuesday afternoon.
Local officials said the incident took place in Kama district where a candidate, Nasir Mohmand, was hosting dozens of people to explain his plans.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the explosion was a suicide bomb blast which left seven people dead and 25 others wounded.
The provincial public health director Najibullah Kamawal however said at least 14 people were killed and 30 others were wounded in the explosion.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expresses its concern around the level of violence early in the campaigning period for the 20 October parliamentary elections, including intimidation and attacks against candidates, their agents and supporters. The Mission condemned the attack that killed at least 14 civilians and wounded a further 42 when a suicide attacker struck at a campaign rally in Nangarhar.
Since campaigning formally commenced on 28 September, there have been several attacks resulting in the killing of a candidate and three security guards of another candidate, as well as the shooting of a further candidate’s agent and son, the commission said.
UNAMA said it urges 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. “This violence, including today’s reprehensible attack in Nangarhar, is an assault on the constitutional rights of the people of Afghanistan.”
US Ambassador in Kabul, John Bass, also condemned the attack on an election rally in Nangarhar.
“An attack on campaign rally is an attack on democracy. Violence must never be used to prevent Afghan people from having their voices heard through elections,” he posted on Twitter.