Afghan lawmaker Abdul Jabar Qahraman, who was running in this Saturday’s parliamentary elections, was killed Wednesday, together with three other people, by a bomb planted under his office sofa in his campaign headquarters in the city of Lashkargah in the state of Helmand, near the Pakistani border. The area has long been a stronghold of the Taliban group
Qahraman is the 10th candidate killed over the past two months by Islamist terrorists. Two more candidates have been abducted and four wounded.
A spokesman for the local governor said another seven people were wounded in the attack. The Taliban took credit for the killing, describing their victim as “a renowned communist.”
The Taliban have been conducting a terror campaign against elections in Afghanistan, describing them as a foreign implant imposed by the West.
“People who are trying to help in holding this process successfully by providing security should be targeted and no stone should be left unturned for the prevention and failure [of the election],” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in the statement Wednesday.
The Taliban has been engaged in a 17-year war against the US and its allies, including the US-sponsored Afghan government.
In late September 1996, the Taliban took control of Kabul and most of Afghanistan, and proclaimed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed a strict form of Sharia law, similar to Saudi Arabia’s. In October 2001, the US launched Operation Enduring Freedom to remove the Taliban from power. Since then, the US government has spent tens of billions of dollars on development aid and more than a trillion dollars on military expenses.
According to a 2015 Brown University study, the ongoing Afghan war had by then resulted in more than 90,000 direct war-related deaths, which included insurgents, Afghan civilians and government forces. More than 100,000 have been injured.