Suspected Taleban rebels in Afghanistan have shot dead 16 people after finding them in possession of voter registration cards, officials say.
The reported attack in the central Uruzgan province appears to be the latest case of violence against those involved in September’s elections.
The former ruling Taleban group has been accused of trying to wreck the country’s first democratic poll.
Two women died on Saturday in a bomb attack on female election workers.
News of the killings came from the chief officer of Khas Uruzgan district, who spoke to the BBC. The Taleban has already vowed to sabotage the elections.
The chief officer said he had spoken to a man who said he had escaped from a group of 17 civilians who had been stopped and held throughout Friday by a group he recognised as Taleban.
The rebels had found cards on the people showing they had just registered to vote in September’s elections. They then killed everybody, the official said.
A man – saying he spoke for the Taleban – told the BBC in Peshawar, Pakistan, that the group had indeed carried out some killings.
However, he said the Taleban had abducted 19 people in two groups – 13 whom he described as government militia and six who he said were election workers.
But a spokesman for the interior ministry backed up the account of the 16 killed being civilians, declining to comment on who the attackers were.
The Taleban has already vowed to sabotage the elections.
Previous violence has been targeted against election offices and premises used by the United Nations which is supporting the polls.
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