Parliamentary Elections’ Security Update

Candidates outside capital Kabul and provincial centers, are feeling more insecure after recent attacks on several. On Wednesday a candidate was attacked in Balkh province. One of his guards was killed and three are severely injured. Meanwhile on Tuesday a former Jihadi commander who was campaigning for a parliamentary candidate was attacked in Mazar. He got critical wounds. The same day, another female candidate was attacked in Mazar with an explosion in front of her house.

Already one candidate has been killed last week in Khost. There was a bomb blast in a mosque killing several people, who had gathered for the campaign speech. Two other candidates were kidnapped from Herat and Ghazni last week. One has been released after days of efforts and mediation from tribal elders, while another is missing.

These all have happened during last week in just four provinces, Herat, Balkh, Ghazni and Khost. Many candidates have increased their security arrangements, while some, those in troubled areas, have limited their movement. Taliban attacked a mosque where people had gathered for the campaign of a candidate. The safest place for campaign is a mosque, considered the home of Allah by Muslims, which is hoped not to be targeted by militants. These all show a grim situation alarming for insecurity ahead for the parliamentary elections next month. There is only one month left for the campaign and already Taliban have increased their attacks to terrorize people and keep them away from the campaigns and election related activities. Women candidates face more problems. The military operations going on during the elections campaign would certainly not only affect the campaign, but the whole security of the process. Kandahar is already witnessing increased attacks and worsening security. Besides conducting a transparent elections, security would be the biggest challenge for the Government and international security forces.

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