Independent election watchdog shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Kabul

RonTech2000/iStockBy JULIA MACFARLANE, ABC News

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Mohammad Yousuf Rasheed, the executive director of the non-governmental organization Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen Wednesday morning in Kabul.

Rasheed’s brother told Afghan news outlet Tolo News that his brother was attacked as he was headed to his office when gunmen started shooting at his vehicle. Rasheed’s driver was wounded.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement, the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the killing as a “terrorist incident” and ordered security agencies to identify and punish those responsible for his murder, adding that Rasheed had dedicated his life to “democracy and transparency” in elections.

Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, condemned the attack, saying the “terror and killing are not the answer to the current crisis of the country.”

The U.S. Charge d’Affaires, Ross Wilson, said in a tweet that Rasheed was a “dedicated and steadfast advocate for representative democracy in Afghanistan.”

“He worked tirelessly for years to ensure free and transparent elections that engaged all Afghans. His death is a loss for family, friends and nation,” Wilson added.

The United Nations Mission for Afghanistan said it mourned Rasheed’s loss along with “the loss of so many outstanding citizens,” adding that “targeted killings of civilians are taking place at a deeply disturbing rate in Afghanistan.”

A well-known journalist and a group of medical workers have been killed in the last four days in Afghanistan and a local lawmaker was seemingly targeted in a bombing attack that killed nine people and wounded 20 others.

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