Taliban kill powerful Afghan police chief in Kandahar

Geraldine Edwards
October 19, 2018

Raziq was killed in the attack, while two U.S. citizens and several top Afghan official, including the governor, were wounded, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a video address to the nation, told Afghans the situation in Kandahar would soon return to normal.

"This was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident", he said, suggesting it was an insider attack in which Afghan personnel turn their guns on local partners. Three Americans, including a soldier, civilian and contractor, were wounded in the cross-fire and had been evacuated from the scene.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast in the southern province of Helmand, saying in a statement: "We have killed Qahraman, a renowned communist".

It was unclear if the attack would affect the process, following a meeting last week of Taliban officials and the US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, but complicates an already hard situation. General Miller is uninjured.

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NATO Resolute Support spokesman Grant Neely told RFE/RL that the top us commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, was present at the meeting but was unhurt.

The militant group's spokesperson Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said US General Scott Miller, commander of the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, was the target of the incident.

However, Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Razik and Intelligence Chief Abdul Mohmin were pronounced dead at the scene.

In the meantime, reports indicate that provincial intelligence chief Abdul Momin Hussain Khel has also been killed and provincial governor Zalmai Weesa and the commander of 404 Maiwand Zone Abdul Nabi Elham have sustained injuries.

The Security Council's statement issued late Thursday from United Nations headquarters said the members underscored the importance of security for elections and that violence or threats meant to disrupt the elections were unacceptable.

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A year ago the United Nations Committee against Torture cited "numerous and credible allegations" that Razeq was complicit in severe human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and secret detention centers. He ruled in Kandahar, the former Taliban heartland, with an iron fist and had survived several attempts to kill him, including one previous year that resulted in the death of five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Raziq, who was about 40, was among the best known and most effective police commanders in Afghanistan and had survived numerous assassination attempts - some of which left him with several wounds.

"Wish to see Afghan and other security forces succeeding to bring an end to this prolonged violence in Afghanistan", the COAS was quoted as saying by Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, Director General of the ISPR. It came just days ahead of the Afghan elections.

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