UN chief decries violence ahead of Afghan polls

October 16, 2018 - 8:16

TEHRAN - The United Nations chief has denounced violent attacks targeting electoral booths in Afghanistan as the country gears up for parliamentary elections later this week.

With terror groups upping the ante ahead of elections, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on all parties to ensure peaceful and orderly elections.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Guterres underscored that deliberate targeting of civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law.

In the run up to the parliamentary elections on 20 October, the Secretary-General urges all parties to ensure a peaceful and orderly electoral process by creating a safe environment for political candidates to campaign and for citizens to exercise their right to assemble and vote, added the statement.

According to media reports, at least 22 people died and more than 35 wounded when a bomb went off at an election campaign rally in Takhar province in north-eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, and at least two individuals, including a child, were killed in a separate attack on a candidate’s office in Herat, western Afghanistan.

Last week, the Taliban issued a stern warning of disrupting the October 20 elections, adding to the anxiety of candidates and voters. In its statement, the group described the elections as a bogus U.S. move to consolidate its invasion of Afghanistan and urged Afghans to avoid participation.

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