UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday condemned the lethal attacks against an election campaign rally and a candidate's office in Afghanistan.
"The deliberate targeting of civilians is a violation of international humanitarian law," said a statement issued by Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the secretary-general. "He extends his deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured."
"In the run up to the parliamentary elections on Oct. 20, the secretary-general urges all parties to ensure a peaceful and orderly electoral process by creating a safe environment for political candidates to campaign and for citizens to exercise their right to assemble and vote," said the statement.
Anti-government militants targeted an election gathering organized by female candidate Nazifa Big Yusufi in northern Takhar province on Saturday, killing 13 people and injuring dozens of others, police said.
In a separate attack Saturday that targeted the office of a candidate in western Herat province, at least two people including a security guard and a child were killed, Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, was quoted as saying.
The elections for Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of the Afghan parliament, are slated for Oct. 20 with more than 2,500 candidates vying for the chamber's 249 seats.