Top 3 Kandahar officials killed by own guards, U.S. general survives

Glen Norman
October 19, 2018

The shooting in Kandahar continued a surge in violence across Afghanistan ahead of parliamentary elections Saturday.

A powerful Afghan police chief and a journalist were among at least 3 people killed on Thursday, October 18, when a gunman opened fire on a high-level security meeting attended by top United States commander General Scott Miller, officials said.

A top Afghan security commander, Kandahar police chief Gen Abdul Raziq, has been shot dead by a bodyguard.

AFP adds: Five Czech soldiers have been injured in an apparent suicide attack on a military convoy in Afghanistan only two months after three others were killed, the Czech Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

General Scott Miller, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan who had been at the meeting with General Razeq only moments earlier, was uninjured in the attack, but the local commander of the NDS intelligence service was killed and the provincial governor was severely wounded. Their conditions were not immediately known. Gen Miller is uninjured.

NATO, meanwhile, announced that US General Scott Miller escaped the attack unscathed.

Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack at the governor's compound.

A disarmingly youthful-looking figure, with a toothy smile belying a fearsome reputation, the 39-year-old Razeq was by far the most powerful commander in the strategically vital provinces of southern Afghanistan.

Mattis was cautious about whether the attack could hit turnout but said the USA aim of finding a negotiated, Afghan-led political solution to the conflict was unchanged.

In a telephone interview, the spokesman for the Taliban in Afghanistan's southern region, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said the Taliban carried out the attack.

Two American troops were wounded in the assault, while Afghan police Chief Abdul Raziq was killed. His forces received Western training and funds, and US military officials often consulted him.

"At 3.30pm, after a meeting about the security of elections, when the high-ranking participants were heading to helicopters, an enemy infiltrator opened fire on them", the deputy interior minister, General Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi, said at a news conference.

Mr Raziq was a powerful figure in southern Kandahar and a close USA ally despite several allegations of corruption.

Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October 20, after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Doha discussion was "about ending occupation and working towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Afghan conflict".

The attack, which took place in the district of Bagram in Parwan province, also wounded three Afghan civilians, said Wahida Shakar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor. That incident came a day after the Taliban warned candidates to withdraw from the parliamentary election, which the group has vowed to attack.

The five soldiers were injured when an Afghan civilian auto loaded with explosives was blown up as the convoy led by an American vehicle was passing by.

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