Death toll rises in bombing of mosque used for voters' registrations

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Death toll rises in bombing of mosque used for voters' registrations

Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned a terrorist attack at a voter registration centre in a mosque in Khost killing and injuring scores of innocent people.

In a separate incident in the northern province of Faryab, seven people were killed when the auto they were travelling in hit a roadside bomb early on Sunday morning, Mohammad Karim Yuresh, spokesman for Faryab police, said.

No group has claimed any responsibility for today's deadly attack.

The explosion was at least the sixth attack on voter-registration activities in Afghanistan since authorities last month began requiring citizens to register to vote in person at centers across the country.

The latest assault on a voter registration center is likely to deter more people from signing up for the long-delayed parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for October 20.

This week suicide bombers in the capital Kabul killed at least 26 people, including nine journalists.

Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State extremist group reject democratic elections and have targeted them in the past.

Zabihullah Shuja, a spokesman for the Baghlan police, said the engineers were traveling to a government-run power station in a mini bus when unknown gunmen abducted them and their Afghan driver. Just days before about 57 people and another 119 were injured in an explosion on a voter registration place in Kabul.

"Some of them are in schools and parents have objected to this because they are anxious about the safety factor".

Officials are concerned that a low voter turnout will undermine the credibility of the poll.

Aminullah Habibi, a Kabul-based former adviser to worldwide forces in Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera that the reason for the low figure is the lack of security around registration centres. But if the current trend were to continue, fewer than three million people would be registered by the mid-June deadline. "This raises a lot of questions about the ability of the government to have this election", he said. "We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained".

"The government is not able to manage security properly, despite having enough resources for it".

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