Death toll in Afghan election rally attack rises to 22

Afghan relatives of victims looks on as they stand in front of a hospital following a bomb attack in Taloqan in northeastern Takhar province on October 13, 2018. AFP 

Kabul - 

The death toll in a bomb attack on an Afghan election rally has risen to at least 22 people, officials said Sunday, as the country braces for more violence ahead of the October 20 poll. 

Dozens of people were killed or wounded in parliamentary election-related attacks across Afghanistan on Saturday as militants step up attacks on the ballot.

A motorcycle carrying explosives detonated among supporters of Nazifa Yousefibek, a female candidate for the northeastern province of Takhar, provincial governor spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hejri told AFP.

Most of the 22 killed and 36 wounded were civilians, he said. 

Provincial health director Hafizullah Safi put the death toll slightly higher at 23.  

In the western province of Herat, two gunmen attacked the campaign office of a candidate in Injeel district, killing two people, provincial governor spokesman Jailani Farhad said.

A nine-year-old boy and a security guard died in the attack and two others were wounded. 

Violence related to the long-delayed legislative vote has killed or wounded hundreds of people in recent months.

At least nine candidates have died so far, most of them in targeted killings, according to the Independent Election Commission. 

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