TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – At least 24 people were killed and tens more wounded after a bomb attached to a security vehicle exploded near a campaign rally attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
The bombing occurred on Tuesday afternoon in Afghanistan’s northern city of Charikar as Ghani began addressing a campaign rally there, potentially signaling an attempt on his life.
The blast went off at the entrance to the venue, killing at least 24 and injuring over 30 attendees, preliminary reports said.
Ghani was not hurt in the blast and was brought to safety. It appears to be the first high-profile terrorist attack that has targeted an event featuring the president himself.
No group has immediately claimed credit for the blast, but it comes after the Taliban repeatedly threatened to resume attacks on Afghan forces and on their Western backers, on the back of failed peace talks with the US.
Shortly after Ghani’s election rally was targeted in a bomb attack that killed at least 24, another blast rocked the heavily-guarded center of Kabul, where the US Embassy and government buildings are located.
The attack hit near the Massoud Square in Kabul, close to the US Embassy premises, Afghanistan’s TOLO news reported uploading footage that reportedly showed the aftermath of the explosion. The media outlet also referred to the Interior Ministry that said the Defense Ministry building was also hit in what they called “a suicide blast.”
Scheduled for September 28, this year’s presidential elections have been postponed twice over fears of militant attacks. Ghani, a former World Bank executive, is making a bid to remain in power for one more term.