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Taliban Targets Election Workers

26 June 2004 -- Two female Afghan election workers were killed today in a bomb attack claimed by loyalists of the ousted Taliban regime.

UN envoy Jean Arnault said three women and a child sustained serious injuries and another nine women were wounded when a bomb exploded on a bus in the eastern city of Jalalabad. The women were working to register voters in the area.

Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi told Reuters that militants targeted election workers as a warning to others not to get involved in the election process. He said Taliban militants will carry out further attacks to sabotage the elections planned for autumn.

The bomb went off on a bus carrying female election workers who were registering voters in Jalalabad ahead of elections planned for the autumn. Seventeen people were reported wounded, several of them seriously.

Hakimi said the Taliban also claimed responsibility for the killing of two U.S. Marines in an ambush in eastern Kunar province on 24 June.

The Taliban spokesman also said militants had freed a Turkish engineer and his driver who were kidnapped in March.

(Reuters, dpa)