Motorcycle bomb kills 14 in Afghanistan

A motorcycle rigged with explosives detonated at an election rally in northeastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing at least 14 people including civilians and security forces, officials said.

Khalil Aser, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Takhar province, said 32 others were wounded when the explosives-laden motorbike parked near the rally in Rustaq district blew up.

The attack took place at about noon before Nazefa Yusoufi Beg, a female candidate running for a seat in parliament in the October 20 elections, arrived at the rally, Aser said.

It was not immediately clear if she was the target.

Jawad Hajri, spokesman for the provincial governor, said Rustaq is a remote district where insurgent attacks have not occurred in the past and the candidate's supporters had gathered for the rally confident they would be safe.

Adeb Hamra, a local resident, said in a telephone interview that the district government hospital has only four doctors and was overwhelmed with dead and wounded, most of them in critical condition.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Taliban insurgents are active in the province and have claimed pervious attacks there.