KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban gunmen abducted a candidate running for a seat in the provincial council in northern Afghanistan and seven members of his entourage, officials said Monday.
Also in the northern Sar-i-Pul province, a roadside bomb killed four Afghan policemen and wounded three on Monday, officials said.
The violence is the latest in the lead-up to Saturday's balloting when Afghanistan chooses a new president to replace Hamid Karzai and also elects members for its provincial councils. The Taliban have vowed to use force to disrupt the April 5 vote.
The candidate abducted in Sar-i-Pul, Hussain Nazari, and seven others were taken overnight as they were travelling in a taxi to the provincial capital. They had no security escort with them, according to Governor Abdul Jabar Haqbeen.
The governor said elders in the area were trying to negotiate with the Taliban to get Nazari and the others released.
In eastern Paktia province, four civilians, including a 12-year-old boy, were killed when their motorcycle hit a roadside bomb on Monday. The incident occurred near Gardez city, the capital of Paktia province.
Taliban routinely plant roadside explosives that are usually aimed at military convoys but regularly kill civilians.