Bomb kills Afghan election candidate, wounds 7

Education for girls beyond 12 has been halted and many schools in Qadis district have closed

Education for girls beyond 12 has been halted and many schools in Qadis district have closed

Afghan security officials check people beside an electoral billboard of Abdul Jabar Qahraman, a prominent Afghan politician and candidate of upcoming parliamentary elections, after he was killed in a bomb attack, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Oct. 17, 2018.

The Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi in a statement claimed that the candidate has been killed along with his three colleagues in the tactical explosion.

The other three people killed were sitting in Qahraman's office at the time of the explosion.

Qahraman had been meeting with supporters in his campaign office in the southern province of Helmand - a Taliban stronghold - when the attack happened, provincial governor spokesman Omar Zhwak told AFP.

This comes as parliamentary candidate Saleh Mohammad had earlier lost his life in a suicide attack.

"We have arrested several people in connection with the blast", he added.

The death toll in the country's long-running insurgency has escalated in recent months, with concerns Saturday's polling will be a flashpoint for Taliban violence.

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Abdul Jabar Qahraman was the 10th candidate to die in recent weeks ahead of the polls, which are seen as crucial for Afghanistan's stability and another major test of how US -led worldwide efforts to cement democracy have changed the country.

Qahraman had spearheaded the formation of Sangorian, a secret militia trained by Afghan intelligence to infiltrate the Taliban.

Last week, 22 people died in an explosion at an election rally for a woman candidate in the northeastern province of Takhar.

That incident came a day after the Taliban warned candidates to withdraw from the parliamentary election, which the group has vowed to attack. More than 5,000 stations will be set up in schools, mosques and medical centres.

The Taliban on Wednesday directed teachers not to set up their schools as polling stations.

"Teachers and students of educational institutes must stay away from all enemy political processes and must not allow the invaders and their stooges to utilize their schools for the implementation of their evil projects", the Taliban said in a statement.

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