At least 13 people have been killed and 25 others wounded in a suicide attack at an election campaign rally in the eastern Nangarhar province in Afghanistan.
The assailant detonated his explosives on Tuesday at the rally of parliamentary candidate Abdul Nasir Mohmmand in Kama district outside the provincial capital of Jalalabad, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said.
The attack came as campaigning has begun for parliamentary elections due on October 20.
“Elders were speaking at the meeting when there was suddenly a huge blast,” said Sayed Humayoun, who was attending the meeting in Kama district, outside the provincial capital Jalalabad.
“I was knocked unconscious but when I opened my eyes there were bodies scattered all around the blast area,” he said, adding that he could see dozens of dead and wounded bodies on the ground.
Around 250 people were attending the rally, said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Five candidates have been killed in attacks, according to the Independent Election Commission, and there are fears violence will escalate.
The Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group have vowed to disrupt the election process, as they ramp up attacks across the country.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies