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Karzai's Running Mate Escapes Bomb Blast Unhurt

6 October 2004 -- Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai's running mate for the 9 October presidential election escaped a bomb blast unhurt today.

Ahmad Zia Mas'ud, Karzai's candidate for first vice president, was in Faizabad, the capital of Badakhshan Province, for a campaign rally when the blast occurred. Reports said the blast hit Mas'ud's convoy as it headed to the rally site, killing at least one person.

Campaigning for the election, which ends today, had been overshadowed by security concerns. Last month, Karzai had to cancel a rally outside Kabul following an attempt to shoot down his helicopter.

Supporters of the former Taliban regime and Al-Qaeda have vowed to disrupt the election, Afghanistan's first-ever democratic poll.


For more on the Afghan elections, see RFE/RL and Radio Free Afghanistan's dedicated webpage "Afghanistan Votes 2004-05."