Taliban gunmen kill provincial election chief in Afghanistan
By Gul Rahim, AFPKUNDUZ, Afghanistan--Taliban assassins riding motorbikes gunned down a senior election official in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, raising fears the presidential vote due in April will trigger a surge in violence.
September 19, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
Amanullah Aman, the head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kunduz province, was killed by two gunmen outside his home in Kunduz city as he left for work.
His murder, the first of an election official in recent years, came days after candidate nominations opened Monday. All potential runners in the race to succeed President Hamid Karzai must declare themselves by Oct. 6.
“Aman was shot dead in the morning in front of his house as he was leaving for his office,” Kunduz provincial spokesman Enayatullah Khaliq told AFP.
“Two men on motorcycles opened fire on his car and severely wounded him, he later died in the hospital.”
Deputy police chief Ebadullah Talwar said that Aman was murdered after going grocery shopping and was not accompanied by any bodyguards. Talwar added that five arrests had already been made, but gave no further details.
The Taliban, who often target government officials, released a brief statement on their website claiming responsibility for the attack.
Last month Taliban leader Mullah Omar called the election a “waste of time,” but has so far stopped short of threatening an increase in attacks targeting preparations for the vote on April 5.
“We'll boycott elections in April. We did not say we'll attack it, but the commanders on the ground will,” one member of the Taliban, which dismiss Karzai as a U.S. puppet, told AFP recently.