COAS condemns terrorist attack in Afghanistan’s Kandahar

Hugh Fox
October 19, 2018

Governor Zalmai Wesa and powerful police commander of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar Abdul Razeq were killed in a shooting inside the governor's compound on Thursday the Associated Press reported.

General Abdul Raziq, 39, who has been credited with saving the Taliban's former capital from sliding back into the hands of the resurgent Islamist group, was shot in the back as he left a security meeting with American and Afghan officials. Two Americans were injured in the incident at the compound, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson said, and a local cameraman was reportedly killed.

Miller was not hurt in the shooting, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation s Resolute Support mission spokesman Colonel Knut Peters said in a statement. Their conditions were not immediately known.

USA officials in Afghanistan say Gen. Miller was not the target but have offered no evidence. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials say Miller escaped unharmed.

"The United States is resolved to continue its support for the government and people of Afghanistan as they work to provide security for all Afghan citizens".

Peters said initial reports indicate one of the original attackers is dead. He had no further information.

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He said Gen. Miller was the target and said Raziq, the governor and the intelligence chief were killed.

After the attack, the city was "full of military forces" as per a witness.

Mr Raziq was a powerful figure in southern Kandahar and a close USA ally despite several allegations of corruption. USA commander Gen Scott Miller narrowly escaped unhurt.

The security meeting inside the sprawling provincial governor's residence was being held ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections.

The Taliban, who ruled from 1996 to 2001, have ordered Afghans to boycott the much-delayed polls in their battle to overthrow the Western-backed government and restore their own Islamist regime.

Earlier this year, Afghan authorities announced that they were ready to begin holding direct talks with Taliban officials that would have no preconditions, albeit with negotiations being held "within the framework of the Afghan constitution".

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Afghan officials said the assault began as attendees were leaving the complex.

The attack comes at a time of deepening instability in Afghanistan and grave concerns for the rapidly approaching nationwide parliamentary election.

Of the five Czech soldiers, one was seriously injured when their vehicle overturned following the explosion.

Qahraman had been meeting with supporters in his campaign office in the southern province of Helmand - a Taliban stronghold - when the attack happened, provincial governor spokesman Omar Zhwak told AFP.

Most of the 10 candidates who have died in the lead-up to the election were murdered in targeted killings.

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