Early Wednesday morning, two gunmen on motorcycles drove up and opened fire on Mohammad Amanullah, a senior Afghan election official, who died a short time later in an Afghan hospital. Then, a Taliban spokesman went on Twitter to boast and claim responsibility for the attack—what's believed to be the first time the group has used the social media network for such a reason, according to The New York Times.
The tweet was posted by Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban:
امروز ۹ بجه قبل از ظهر درمنطقهء تخارستان شهر کندز رئيس کميسيون انتخابات اين ولایت اينجينيرمحمدامان ازطرف مجاهدين به ضرب ګلوله به قتل رسيد .— zabihullahmujahid (@zabihmujahid) September 18, 2013
“At 9 a.m. this morning, Engineer Mohammad Aman head of Kunduz Independent Election Commission was killed by our Mujahedeen in Takharistan area of Kunduz city,” the tweet, when translated, reads.
Even though the Taliban has claimed responsibility, authorities are waiting until they have confirmed their involvement through an investigation. “We will wait until the investigation is completed by the security organs and then say who was behind this attack,” said Noor Ahmad Noor, a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission. “He was a noble person and a good colleague.”
Afghanistan is currently getting ready for their presidential elections on April 5 of next year, with a three-week period for candidates to declare their run for the presidency starting Monday. The attack and the Taliban's vaunting of it could mean that the group could be gearing up to create a hostile environment for the elections, and possibly deter citizens from voting for a successor to President Hamid Karzai.
“The Taliban commit such acts to prevent our people from becoming empowered and developed, so that the foreigners can determine our destiny,” President Karzai said in a statement that condemned the attack. “An inclusive election will be held in this country, and the enemy’s plots against that will fail, and nothing will remain to the Taliban except denigration and disgrace.”