The special report, by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), released on Tuesday, said that 85 people were killed and another 373 wounded in election violence in Afghanistan during the period from June 8 to September 30, Presstv Reported.
On the polling day alone, it said, violence killed 28 civilians and injured nearly 250 others. More than one-third of the civilian casualties were children.
On July 28, militants targeted the office of President Ashraf Ghani’s running mate, Amrullah Saleh, in the capital, Kabul, killing 21 people and injuring another 50.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, in a statement blamed most of the casualties on the Taliban’s deliberate campaign of violence and intimidation to disrupt the September 28 election.
“These attacks, along with public statements made by the Taliban, revealed a deliberate campaign intended to undermine the electoral process and deprive Afghan citizens of their right to participate in this important political process, freely and without fear,” the statement read.
The militant group had pledged to disrupt the election by attacking polling stations across the country.
Participation in the first round of the presidential vote was reportedly at a record low, mainly because of security concerns. According to the Afghan election commission, at least 2.2 million people voted, almost one-fifth of the total registered voters.
The election, the fourth since the Taliban were toppled in 2001, took place after peace talks between the militant group and the White House collapsed earlier last month in Qatar’s capital, Doha.
UNAMA has previously blamed both the US military and the Taliban militants for a spike in civilian deaths in Afghanistan. In its annual report, UNAMA said that civilian deaths in 2018 had increased 11 percent compared to 2017, with 3,804 people killed, including 927 children.
The US invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 and overthrew a Taliban regime in power at the time. But insecurity has spikes and US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump.