Jalalabad, Afghanistan
Jalalabad, Afghanistan

At least two people were killed and four injured after an explosion by a suicide bomber near an election office in the northeastern city of Jalalabad, an Afghan official said Saturday.

Officials said the explosion happened as the attacker approached dozens of protesters near the Election Commission office. They had gathered to protest a decision to disqualify a candidate with alleged ties to militant groups from upcoming elections.

Provincial health director Najib Kamawal and Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, confirmed at least two people were killed.

“We had requested the protesters to stop their demonstrations because they could be targeted by militants, but they rejected our security message,” Khogyani said.

Khogyani told the Associated Press the casualty count would likely rise.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack Saturday morning, but an Islamic State-affiliated group and the Taliban are active in the northeastern region.

The Taliban has been warning Afghans not to vote in the upcoming parliamentary and local elections scheduled for October. Dozens of people have been killed in attacks on registration centers, according to Reuters.

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