News / Asia

Afghan Blast Adds to Election Security Fears

  • Afghans help an injured man into a vehicle after a suicide attack in Maimana, Faryab province, Afghanistan, March 18, 2014.
  • A police officer stands at the site of a suicide blast in Faryab, Afghanistan, March 18, 2014.
  • People stand near debris at the site of a suicide blast in Faryab, Afghanistan, March 18, 2014.
  • Afghan police forces and civilians inspect the site of a suicide attack in Maimana, Faryab province, Afghanistan, March 18, 2014.

Suicide Attack at an Afghan Market

Sharon Behn
A suicide bomber has attacked a busy market in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 15 civilians.  There are some fears that violence will increase before the April 5 Afghan presidential and provincial elections.

A man driving a rickshaw into a crowded market Tuesday detonated the bomb, killing or wounding scores of civilians in the northern province of Faryab.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place near a security checkpoint, but the Taliban and allied militants are known to operate in the area.

A lawmaker from Faryab, Naqibullah Fayeq, said the suicide bomber killed only innocent bystanders.

He said the very sad part of this attack was that all those killed were women, children and workers.

President Hamid Karzai blamed the attack on those working for “foreign interests,” but did not elaborate.

The bomb blast added to the security concerns surrounding the April 5 elections.  The Taliban have threatened all those who take part in the vote.

Jandad Speenghar of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan said violence would affect the voting.

"Any security incident close to the election day can affect psychologically on people participation, especially on those areas where such event is happening of course the people of that area might [be] scared and not participate in the election.  It will affect directly on people of specific areas," said Speenghar.

Lawmaker Fayeq said more attacks were expected.  He called for Karzai to put an end to the violence.

He said, "Right now the security forces in Faryab are saying they are expecting more suicide bombings and explosions in the province."  Fayeq wanted the Afghan government and the Afghan president to ask his Taliban brothers to stop the explosions. 

He said "What happened today was not an explosion, it was a massacre."
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement that the use of homemade bombs in a civilian location such as a market was “atrocious and cannot be justified.”

In the first two and a half months of 2014, homemade bombs or IEDs have killed 190 civilians in Afghanistan, a 14 percent increase over the same period last year.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid