30 Aug 2010

Afghan election workers found dead

3:16 pm on 30 August 2010

The bodies of five people working for a female candidate in a parliamentary election in Afghanistan have been found in western Herat province.

They were among a group of 10 people kidnapped by armed men on Wednesday. Five were later released. The Taliban later said it carried out the abductions.

The staff were working for Fauzia Galani, who is seeking re-election to parliament in September's polls.

Police chief Nisar Ahmad Popal said the bodies had been found dumped on a mountainside in Adrskan district.

Their hands had been bound and they had been shot in the head.

The BBC reports the Taliban is opposed to the elections in general - and female candidates in particular.

Others kidnapped

The Taliban is also blamed for the kidnap of four women working at a drug treatment centre in northern Faryab province.

Officials are reported to be negotiating to secure the women's release.

More than 2500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the lower house.