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Top Afghan official killed after bodyguard opens fire, U.S. general safe

19 October, 2018, 12:47 | Author: Ted Wilson
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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.

The powerful police chief of Kandahar province in Afghanistan was killed Thursday in an attack following a security meeting with the top USA commander in the city, three Afghan officials told CNN.

It was members of Wesa's elite guard unit who turned their guns on their colleagues during a high-level security meeting ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials say Miller escaped unharmed.

Abdul Raziq, the top anti-Taliban commander for the southern region in general, had survived a number of assassination attempts, including suicide attacks. "They are on high alert", Rahimi said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement late Thursday.

"At 3:30 p.m., 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 minister of interior, Gen. Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi, said at a news conference.

The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying an "infiltrator" carried out the attack that was aimed at both Raziq and the American general.

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Immediately following the Thursday's attack in Kandahar that killed the provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq, Kandahar's governor Zalmai Wesa, the provincial NDS chief Abdulmomin Hassankhail and a senior Afghan National Army official messages of condemnation started flooding in.

Afghan officials had warned that attacks ahead of the parliamentary election were likely.

Butler said the gunman had been killed and that Afghan officials were the "target of the violence".

Kandahar's police chief, the provincial governor, and the local intelligence chief were among at least three killed in the shooting. The gunfire wounded the provincial governor, another police commander and three Americans, Afghan officials said. He had no further information.

PM Khan also said that Pakistan suffered similar attacks during its own electoral process and could feel the pain of the people of the neighbouring country.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in a short speech confirmed the deaths of the police and intelligence chiefs, but didn't mention the governor. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing near Bagram air base about 30 miles north of the capital, Kabul.

Of the five Czech soldiers, one was seriously injured when their vehicle overturned following the explosion. His forces received Western training and funds, and US military officials often consulted him.

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