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Afghanistan: Weekend deadly bombings concerns UN

Annan voices deep concern at weekend series of deadly bombings in Afghanistan

Noting the high death toll from the two explosions in Afghanistan over the weekend, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced his deep concern at the continuing violent attacks on the country's electoral process.

Ten people, including nine children, were reported killed after an explosion on Saturday tore through a religious school in Paktia province, southeast of the capital, Kabul. Then, at least nine people died following a car bombing in Kabul itself yesterday, according to press reports.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also reported that a vehicle of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) was struck by an improvised explosive on Saturday in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul. No one was hurt in that attack.

Mr. Annan "is particularly troubled by the high toll of dead and wounded, including children," he said in a statement released by his spokesman at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Secretary-General urged the Afghan Government, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF), and the Coalition forces to take all necessary safety and security measures to protect people working towards the election process.

As many as 10 million Afghans are due to go to the polls on 9 October to select a president, and then return next April to cast their ballots for members of national and regional parliaments.

But there have been a series of bombings directed at electoral workers and the electoral process generally since a voter registration campaign began last December.

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