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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More