In Kandahar, a sprawling city that is the country’s second largest, residents and officials described an atmosphere of shock, tension and sorrow. They said Afghan security forces, led by special operations units sent from Kabul, were deployed across the city to keep order, especially during the funeral of Abdul Raziq at a popular shrine Friday morning.
“The entire city is in lockdown,” said Javed Faisal, a candidate for parliament, speaking by cellphone from Kandahar. “Everyone is mourning.” He said the city was secure but that “people are worried, not only for Kandahar but for the entire country.”
The Taliban vowed to “severely disrupt” the polls, in which some 2,500 candidates are running for 249 seats in the lower house of parliament. Ten candidates have been killed in pre-election violence, along with more than 100 other Afghans.