Blast kills 24 at Afghan presidential election rally

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(Reuters) – An explosion near an election rally attended by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani killed 24 people and injured 31 others, a health official said, but Ghani was unhurt according to an aide. 

Ghani had been due to address the rally in Charikar, capital of Parwan province, north of Kabul, when the suspected militant attack occurred. There was no claim of responsibility from any militant group after the blast. 

In a separate incident, an explosion killed at least three people in the center of Kabul, police officials said.

Taliban commanders have vowed to intensify clashes with the Afghan and foreign forces to dissuade people from voting in the Sept. 28 presidential election, when Ghani will bid for a second five-year term. 

Security at rallies across the country has been tight following threats by the Taliban to attack meetings and polling stations.

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