Afghans were warned on Tuesday by the Taliban to keep away from election rallies and ordered its fighters to “stand against” the planned September vote.
The Taliban and other insurgent groups conducted frequent attacks during previous elections, and this year’s campaign season has already been rocked by deadly violence.
The presidential election is currently slated for September 28 but has got off to a lackluster start and some candidates are yet to launch their campaigns.
It is assumed by many observers that the poll will be postponed again, it has already been pushed back twice this year to create space for a peace deal to be finalised between the US and the Taliban.
In their message, the Taliban said fighters should “stand against this theatrical and sham of a process to their full capabilities” a clear instruction to conduct attacks.
“To prevent losses, God forbid, from being incurred by our fellow compatriots, they must stay away from gatherings and rallies that could become potential targets,” a message posted on the Taliban’s website stated.
The Taliban said Afghan elections do not “hold any value”, referring to the 2014 presidential poll that was mired in fraud allegations and saw the US broker a power-sharing deal between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
The US and the Taliban are currently meeting in Doha for an eighth round of talks aimed at striking a peace deal that would slash the US military presence in Afghanistan.
Both sides have cited “excellent progress”.