The Taliban has warned teachers and students not to vote in the upcoming elections and not to allow schools to be used as polling centres, as a bomb blast killed an Afghan parliamentary candidate.

The insurgents said in the statement that the October 20 national elections are already targeted which is viewed as illegitimate, but that they don’t wish to harm the civilians.

A bomb went off in the campaign office of Abdul Jabar Qahraman, a candidate in the southern Helmand province, killing him and wounding seven other people, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Zwak said the explosive device appeared to have been hidden in a sofa. No one claimed the responsibility for the office bomb blast in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. A series of recent attacks have killed six other candidates, before and after the campaign started officially. Two candidates have been abducted and three have been wounded in the violence.

The Taliban are in opposition with democratic elections, viewing them as an imposition by foreign powers. The group has been fighting Afghan and NATO forces for more than 17 years in hopes of restoring its brand of harsh Islamic rule. In recent years the Taliban have carried out near-daily attacks, mainly targeting the Afghan government and security forces. The militants have seized control of several districts across the country.

The Taliban attacked checkpoints in the northern Baghlan province, killing six policemen and wounding two others in a four-hour-long battle, according to provincial police chief Gen. Ekramuddin Sarih. He says around 10 insurgents were killed.

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