52 dead as bomber hits poll centre in Kabul

Frederick Owens
April 23, 2018

Reports said the bombing was the latest attack on preparations for Afghanistan's elections on October 20. "It was a suicide attack", Dawood Amin, Kabul police chief, told AFP.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro said that among 57 who were killed in the attack, 22 were women and eight are children. "God damn the attackers". It was claimed by the Islamic State, a radical Sunni militant group, which has previously targeted mosques, shrines, schools and other sites in the same area.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish issued a statement saying the suicide blast took place at a voter registration center in Kabul and that the bomber was on foot when he detonated his explosives at the gate of the building about 10 a.m. local time. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others.

He strongly blasted the "heinous" terrorist attack on the voter facility, expressing condolences of the Jordanian government to the victims' families and wishes of speedy recovery for the injured.

A witness to the attack named Akbar told Tolo TV: "Now we know the government can not provide us security: we have to get armed and protect ourselves".

The legislative election, initially set for 2015 was delayed to July 2018 due to instability.

He said around a dozen insurgents were also killed in the battle, which is still under way.

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Taliban militants released the five on Thursday.

Earlier, Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, has officially announced the beginning of citizen's registration for the participation in the parliamentary and local elections, which are to be held in October this year.

Since the Persian New Year attack a tense calm has permeated the Afghan capital as people brace for the Taliban's launch of its customary spring offensive.

Officials have been pushing people to register amid fears a low turnout will undermine the credibility of the polls.

Daesh has claimed responsibility.

Afghan security forces have struggled to prevent attacks by the local ISIS affiliate as well as the more firmly established Taliban since the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014.

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