New York, NY (BBN)– United Nations chief has strongly condemned Saturday morning’s suicide car bombing in central Kabul that has reportedly killed at least seven people and injured dozens of others, days ahead of presidential and provincial elections in the South Asian country.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement he was “deeply concerned at this indiscriminate violence” before the polls, which are scheduled to take place next Thursday.

“The Secretary-General extends his condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims. He also sends his wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured by this despicable act.” The injured civilians include at least one United Nations staff member.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) warned in a report issued earlier this week with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) that insecurity was having a serious impact on election preparations, particularly for women, but that Afghans were still eager to vote despite these challenges.

BBN/SS/SI/Ad-16August09-2:27 am (BST)