Afghan Election Candidate Among 4 Killed In Bomb Attack

KABUL — A bomb placed under a sofa killed four Afghans in­cluding an election candidate on Wednesday, officials said, as deadly violence escalates ahead of the October 20 parlia­mentary ballot.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which takes the num­ber of candidates killed so far during the campaign season to at least 10. Abdul Jabar Qahra­man had been meeting with supporters in his campaign office in the southern prov­ince of Helmand — a Taliban stronghold — when a bomb hidden under a sofa exploded, provincial governor spokes­man Omar Zhwak told AFP.

Qahraman was among four people killed by the blast in the provincial capital Lash­kar Gah, Afghanistan Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak told reporters.

Another seven were wounded and three suspects have been arrested, he added.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack on Qahraman, who he had sent to Helmand in 2016 as an envoy to help defeat the Taliban. Qahraman later resigned.

In other poll-related violence, gunmen ambushed a candidate’s convoy in Logar province, near Kabul, on Wednesday, provincial gov­ernor spokesman Shamshad Laraway said.

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