US commander survives Afghan gun attack in which police chief dies
A senior US commander has narrowly escaped a gun attack in which best Afghan security officials had been killed.
The gunman, reported to be acting as a bodyguard, opened fire as officials left a meeting in Kandahar province.
Provincial police chief Gen Abdul Raziq died, as did the head of the NDS intelligence service. The Kandahar governor was critically injured.
US commander Gen Scott Miller escaped unhurt but three other US citizens have been also severely injured, Nato stated.
Unconfirmed reports from local officials suggest that Gen Miller appeared to have been saved by his physique armour.
Initial reports say the attacker was killed.
- Why Afghanistan is a lot more dangerous than ever
- Counting the cost of Trump’s air war in Afghanistan
At least two hand grenade explosions were also reported by officials.
The Taliban mentioned they carried out the attack – one particular of the most devastating targeted attacks since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001 – and that Gen Miller and Gen Raziq were the targets. In a statement, the group referred to Gen Raziq as a “brutal police chief”.
Loss of a potent Taliban opponent
By Dawood Azami, BBC Globe Service
This is one particular of the most critical safety incidents of the previous 17 years – in which practically the entire leadership of a province has been eliminated.
While Gen Raziq, 40, was the provincial police commander of Kandahar, his influence went beyond his native province. Over the past couple of years, he had emerged as a single of the most powerful military and political figures in Afghanistan.
He was regarded as as 1 of the strongest opponents of the Taliban and Pakistan and had transformed himself into a symbol of the anti-Taliban struggle in Afghanistan. He had previously survived practically 20 attempts on his life.
In the absence of such knowledgeable and die-difficult figures, the Taliban could mount a campaign to enhance their territorial control as the loss of an essential leader opens a window of chance for the militants.
Violence in Afghanistan has been escalating ahead of Saturday’s elections.
Afghan and international security officials mentioned Gen Raziq had been shot in the back as he left the meeting and died from his wounds.
“Provincial officials like the governor, the police chief and other officials were accompanying the foreign guests to the plane when the gunshots happened,” said Jan Khakrezwal, head of the Kandahar provincial council.
The BBC’s Secunder Kermani in Kabul says Gen Raziq was a powerful opponent of the Taliban.
Nato spokesman Col Knut Peters stated the wounded Americans had been evacuated.
“Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident,” Col Peters stated. “We are getting told the location is secure.”
Final year, Gen Raziq himself narrowly escaped a bomb attack on the Kandahar governor’s guesthouse.
5 officials from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) died in that attack along with the deputy governor, two senior Afghan officials and two MPs.
Published at Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:25:39 +0000