IS claims deadly blast targeting Afghanistan's election commission

An Afghan Independent Election Commission official scans a voter with a biometric device at a polling centre for the country's legislative election in Kandahar province on October 27,2018

An Afghan Independent Election Commission official scans a voter with a biometric device at a polling centre for the country's legislative election in Kandahar province on October 27,2018

Hottak said the vehicle bomb detonated in the provincial capital of Maidan Shahr as two busloads of mechanics arrived at the gate to begin their day's work.

The bomber was walking toward the gate of the heavily fortified election commission offices when the police became suspicious of his intentions and opened fire, prompting him to detonate his explosives vest, said police chief Bismillah Taban.

An Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) official scans a voter with a biometric device at a polling centre for the country's legislative election in Kandahar province on October 27,2018. The roads will reopen after polls close at 4 p.m.

Voting in the province was delayed by one week after an attack that killed two senior Afghan officials.

Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections since 2010 were held against a backdrop of near-daily attacks by the Taliban, who have seized almost half the country and have repeatedly refused offers to negotiate with the Afghanistan government.

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On election day, the Taliban had carried out around 200 attacks, which left at least 36 dead and 126 wounded.

The ballot was also marred by lengthy delays at polling stations and allegations of fraud. Both groups have warned Afghans against participating in the elections and have used violence to try to prevent people from going to the polls.

"The election commission supports the move and wants the people who tried to damage the election process to be punished", Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, a deputy spokesman for the IEC said.

Preliminary results of nationwide voting for Afghanistan's 249-seat Parliament are not expected before mid-November.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror.

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