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Afghan election candidate killed by bomb under office chair



KABUL (Reuters) – An Afghan legislature contesting this week's parliamentary elections was among four people killed by a bomb under its office chair on Wednesday, officials said, a Taliban attack.

MP Abdul Jabar Qahraman was killed preparing for Saturday's election, a high-ranking government official said, becoming the tenth candidate in the past two months. Two others were kidnapped by hardline militants and four others injured.

"Such brutal acts by the terrorists and their supporters can not weaken people's trust in peaceful and democratic processes," President Abdul Ghani said in a statement condemning the attack.

The Afghan Taliban were responsible for the explosion in southern Helmand and said in a statement, "We killed Qahraman, a well-known Communist."

The Taliban have ordered the Afghans to boycott the much-delayed parliamentary elections in their struggle to overthrow the West-backed government and establish their own Islamist regime.

Three men who were in Qahraman's office at the time were also killed, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said, adding that the police arrested three suspects in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

The explosion wounded seven people, said Omar Zwak, a provincial governor spokesman.

"A bomb was placed in his election office under Qahraman's chair," he added. "We are investigating the incident."

The blast on Wednesday follows the death of 22 people last week in an explosion at a women's election rally in the northeastern province of Takhar.

Reporting by Mohammad Stanekzai and Hamid Shalizi, Abdul Qadir Sediqi; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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