Suicide Bomb Kills Eight, Including Parliament Candidate, in Southern Afghanistan

Local businessman is sixth candidate killed ahead of October 20 vote

A suicide bomb attack in the Helmand provincial capital of Lashkar Gah has killed at least eight Afghans on Tuesday. Among the slain was Salem Mohammad Achakzai, a candidate for parliament in the upcoming election.

Achakzai was described as a local businessman and first-time candidate. He was killed in his office in the early afternoon. There has been no claim of responsibility yet, though the Taliban is heavily active across the province.

Both the Taliban and ISIS have called for attacks on those participating in the upcoming parliamentary election, scheduled for October 20. So far, six candidates have been killed.

This is the second attack on an election rally this month, with an attack in Nangarhar Province, the homeland of the ISIS-K affiliate, killing 13 people last week. Such attacks are raising concerns that campaigning is simply not safe, and that many Afghans won’t even attempt to vote, fearing violence at the polls.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of