By Gozde Bayar
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey has condemned Sunday's deadly suicide attack in Afghanistan on a vice presidential election candidate.
“We received the news with sorrow that a terror attack which took place at an election campaign office in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, resulted in the loss of at least 20 lives and left many others wounded, including a vice-presidential candidate,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
It said Turkey “strongly condemn this heinous terror attack which targeted the democratic rights of the Afghan people.”
“We wish Allah’s mercy upon who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded, and convey our condolences to the brotherly Afghan people and government,” it added.
It went on to say that Turkey hopes Afghanistan's presidential campaign and election this September will take place in a safe, peaceful environment.
The attack on the office of President Ashraf Ghani's pick for vice president in the forthcoming election, Amrullah Saleh -- a former intelligence chief -- began with a suicide car bombing and ended around midnight, with all four attackers killed.
Saleh, a staunch critic of Pakistan and the Taliban, was in office at the time of the attack but escaped unhurt with minor bruises.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi told Anadolu Agency that 20 people including 16 civilians and four of Saleh's guards were killed and at least 50 others wounded.
Sunday was the first day of campaigning for Afghanistan's landmark presidential polls, with Ghani and 17 other candidates seeking the top post.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
Ghani, the UN, EU, and several countries have condemned the attack.