The number of civilians harmed in last month’s parliamentary elections was higher than in four previous elections in Afghanistan, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report. At least 435 civilian casualties were recorded, out of which 56 people were killed and 379 wounded, on election day on October 20, and during days when delayed polling was conducted in some provinces. The numbers do not include casualties from attacks during the three-week election campaign. “This report documents grave concerns over the organised campaign of numerous attacks by anti-government elements, mainly Taliban, directed at civilian objects and in civilian populated areas during the elections, including attacks against schools used as polling centres,” the report said.
The Taliban, Afghanistan’s largest armed group that was toppled from power by US-led invasion in 2001, issued a series of threats against the election and called on Afghans to boycott the process.
The report also said the attacks by the Taliban were carried out with rockets, grenades, mortars and improvised explosive devices.