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By Rafiq Sherzad
KHOGIANI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed eight civilians in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, officials said, the latest attack in a surge of violence before a presidential election run-off next week.
The blast in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan's east followed a similar bombing in the southern Taliban stronghold of Kandahar which killed four Afghans, including a child, on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.
The Taliban have vowed to disrupt the run-off vote on November 7 and have warned Afghans to boycott the poll, called after the first round in August was marred by widespread fraud.
A suicide attack on a U.N. guest-house in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday killed five foreign U.N. staff.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, saying they targeted the guest-house because the United Nations is helping organise the run-off.
In Nangarhar, a Reuters witness said a car was being driven through a dry river bed when it was hit by the bomb.
Villagers said a tribal elder who was a passenger in the car appeared to be the target of attack. A woman was among those killed, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Afghan election officials have expressed concern that security forces will not have time to secure the thousands of polling stations before the run-off.
Violence across Afghanistan this year has reached its worst levels since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, with foreign military deaths reaching record levels and civilian deaths also up significantly.
Also in eastern Afghanistan, police and NATO-led forces killed about 26 insurgents in Ghazni province on Thursday, the Interior Ministry said.
(Additional reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Golnar Motevalli; Editing by Paul Tait)

Reuters