Blast at Rally for President Ashraf Ghani Kills 24; Ghani Unharmed

KABUL—An explosion near an election rally attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani killed at least 24 people and injured 31 others, a health official said, but Ghani was unhurt according to an aide.

Ghani had been due to address the rally in Charikar, capital of Parwan province, north of Kabul, when the suspected terrorist attack occurred.

“Women and children are among them and most of the victims seem to be the civilians. Ambulances are still operating, and the number of casualties may rise,” said Abdul Qasim Sangin, head of the provincial hospital.

Blast in Kabul 2
An injured man is transported to an ambulance at a hospital, after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept. 17, 2019. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

A local government official said the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

“The president is unharmed,” Ghani’s aide told Reuters.

There was no claim of responsibility from any terrorist group after the blast.

Ashraf Ghani
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani inspects the honor guard during Independence Day celebrations at Defense Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 19, 2019. (Afghan Presidential Palace via AP)

Separate Blast Killed 6 Near US Embassy Premises

In a separate incident, an explosion killed at least six people in the center of Kabul, police officials said.

The blast happened near the Massoud Square on Sept. 17, close to the U.S. Embassy premises, RT reported.

Ambulances and Afghan forces rushed to the blast site.


Taliban commanders have vowed to intensify clashes with the Afghan and foreign forces to dissuade people from voting in the Sept. 28 presidential election, when Ghani will bid for a second five-year term.

Security at rallies across the country has been tight following threats by the Taliban to attack meetings and polling stations.

Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban collapsed last week. The two sides had been seeking to reach an accord on the withdrawal of thousands of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgents.

The talks, which did not include the Afghan government, were intended as a prelude to wider peace negotiations to end more than more 40 years of war in Afghanistan.

By James Mackenzie

NTD News staff contributed to this report.

Staff Writer
The above article is by a guest contributor, or shared from another news outlet.