By: Katherine Hewitt
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
KABUL, Afghanistan – As part preparing for upcoming elections in Afghanistan this October, the government has set up voter registration centers across the country. On 22 April as people lined up outside a center in Dasht-i-Barchineighborhood of Kabul, a pedestrian walked into the crowd and detonated a bomb.
The Islamic state claimed responsibility for this attack. Their website said that the attack was aimed toward ‘apostate’ Shiites. This neighborhood is mainly Shiite Hazara, a minority that has been frequently targeted by the Islamic State.
Local buildings and cars were also destroyed. Voter registration cards and personal identification documents scattered the street. At least 57 people were killed in the attack. Another 119 are wounded. Women, children, and young students are part of those killed. This is considered to be one of the deadliest attack this year, and the deadliest attack on election preparations so far.
Residents of the area said that they were still determined to register to vote. President Ashraf Ghani said of the attacks that they will “never weaken the resolve and will of our people for wider participation in the democratic process.”
The government closed two other registration centers in Kabul as well as stationed police patrols in Dasht-i-Barchi and the surrounding areas.
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