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

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

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