A suicide bomber has struck an election meeting in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, killing at least eight people, including a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections, a provincial official said. Saleh Mohammad Achekzai was holding a meeting in front of his house in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, when the suicide bomber detonated his explosives on Tuesday. The blast also killed several of Achekzai’s bodyguards, Attahullah Afghan, head of the southern Helmand provincial council told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. It was the second suicide attack to target a parliamentary candidate since campaigning officially kicked off on September 28 for the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 20.
There are 2,565 candidates vying for seats in the 249-member chamber, including 417 female candidates.
On October 2, an attack on a rally in the eastern province of Nangarhar killed 13 people and wounded more than 40.
At least five people have been murdered in targeted killings so far, according to the Independent Election Commission.