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Poll candidate killed in Afghan blast

A bomb ripped through the campaign office of a leading parliamentary candidate in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Wednesday, killing him and injuring eight others, the police said.

The blast took place at around 10 a.m. when (candidate) Abdul Jabar Qahraman and some of his supporters were inside his office in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, a police official told Xinhua news agency.

Omar Zawak, the spokesman for Helmand provincial government, said that Qahraman succumbed to his wounds after receiving critical injuries.

Three suspects were arrested and an investigation was underway, officials said.

The murder of Qahraman brought to 10 the number of killed parliamentary candidates in militants attacks since the beginning of election campaigns on September 28 in the insurgency-plagued country.

More than 2,500 candidates are contesting for the 249 seats in the Afghan Parliament, with the October 20 elections denounced by insurgents as a “false” process that aims at legitimizing the presence of foreign troops in the country.

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