Afghan presidential candidate survives assassination attempt

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The frontrunner in Afghanistan’s presidential elections, Abdullah Abdullah, survived a suicide bombing on his convoy in Kabul. The attack, which occurred as the convoy was travelling between campaign events, killed six people and injured 22 others, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

Initial reports indicate that the convoy was struck by at least two explosions, the first by the suicide bomber, while it seems that the second bomb was planted somewhere on the road or attached to one of the cars.

The Taliban has warned Afghan voters against participating in the presidential elections, and Afghan officials say that this was the first attack on a candidate since the start of the elections campaign in January.

“We were together, and a bomb hit our car; the car is destroyed,” said Abdullah, who was travelling with Zalmay Rassoul, a fellow presidential contender who did not pass the initial round of voting. “It didn’t hurt us, but a number of my guards were wounded. The injuries aren’t serious. The second bomb also exploded, but the first bomb directly hit our car. God save us.”

Abdullah is competing against candidate Ashraf Ghani in the runoff elections. Abdullah had received the most votes in the first round of voting, with Ghani coming in second.