Suicide bombing on Afghan poll rally kills 8

Lashkar Gah (Afghanistan): At least eight people were killed and 10 others were wounded after a suicide bomb blast struck an election campaign rally in Afghanistan’s Lashkar Gah city on Tuesday, officials said.

“A suicide bomb blast occurred roughly at 2.50 p.m. outside a parliamentary election candidate’s office when a gathering was underway,” Omar Zwak, a provincial government spokesman, said in a statement cited by Xinhua news agency.

Parliamentary hopeful Saleh Mohammad Achikzai received minor injuries after the explosion. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesman said that the number of casualties were likely to rise and an investigation was ongoing into the incident.

The violence has been on the rise as Afghan security forces struggle against a surge in attacks by militants at the time when the country is preparing for parliamentary and district councils elections slated for later this month.

During the October 20 elections, nearly 9 million registered voters, including 3 million women, will cast their ballots to elect members of the 249-seat lower house of Parliament for a five-year term. They will also vote to elect members of the district councils.