An Afghan election candidate killed in a blast in his office in the southern Helmand province, seven others were injured.

Iran Press/Asia: Abdul Jabar Qahraman, who was preparing to contest Saturday's parliamentary polls was killed in his office on Wednesday in the Lashkar Gah city.

According to Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack hours after they released a statement warning teachers and students not to participate in the parliamentary elections due on October 20, and not to allow schools to be used as polling centres. 

Qahraman is the 10th candidate to be killed in the past two months. Another two have been abducted and four others were wounded by armed groups.

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The Taliban armed group has called for the boycott of the elections.

"People who are trying to help in holding this process successfully by providing security should be targeted and no stone should be left unturned for the prevention and failure [of the election]," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid earlier said in the statement.

This is the forth attack on election-related activities in Afghanistan this month. On Tuesday, an attack on a campaign office in Helmand province killed eight people. Before that, an attack on an election rally in Nangarhar killed 14 people.

Security is one of the biggest concerns, not just in the run up to the elections but on the day itself.

The Afghan Ministry of Interior says more than 50,000 security personnel will be deployed to the 5,100 polling stations across the country on election day and more forces would be on  standby if needed. In at least 19 districts, polling stations were facing increased security threats, according to the ministry. 

Parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held in Afghanistan on 15 October 2016, to elect members of the House of the People, but were postponed to 7 July 2018 and then again to 20 October 2018.


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