Top officials including Kandahar police chief killed in Taliban attack, India, Pak condole loss of lives

October 18, 2018

Top Afghan officials including Kandahar police chief, governor and intelligence chief killed in attack by guards on Thursday, reported AP.The news was confirmed by Parliamentarian Khalid Pashtun.

The incident happened when officials were leaving the governor’s office and while on their way to a helipad, reported TOLO News.

Among those who had been at the meeting was Gen. Austin Scott Miller, Resolute Support Commander and other high profile officials. Miller has escaped unnhurt, officials said.

Sources also say the attack was initiated by at least one of the governor’s bodyguards.

However, no official comment has yet been made by government.Security forces swarmed the southern city of Kandahar after the shooting that shuttered shops and sent terrified civilians — already on high alert for attacks — into their homes.

The Taliban said Miller and General Abdul Raziq — the police chief of Kandahar province who had a fierce reputation for brutality — were the targets of the shooting.”General Raziq and the provincial NDS (intelligence agency) chief have been killed, and the governor himself is in a critical condition,” a senior government official told AFP on the condition of anonymity.Six of Raziq’s bodyguards and two intelligence officers also were wounded in the attack that was carried out by one of the governor’s security personnel, the official said.The shooter had been killed, he added.Afghanistan is tense ahead of the October 20 legislative election after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.More than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the lower house, including doctors, mullahs, and the sons of former warlords.The election process has already been marred by bloody violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in recent months.At least 10 candidates have been killed so far, including Abdul Jabar Qahraman who was blown up Wednesday by a bomb placed under his sofa in the southern province of Helmand.The election is seen as a rehearsal for the presidential vote scheduled for April and an important milestone ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva in November where Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on “democratic processes”.A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.The Taliban said that the attack on a high-level security meeting in Afghanistan on Thursday had targeted top US commander General Scott Miller, who NATO said survived the shooting.”The target was General Miller and General Raziq,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter.Abdul Raziq, the police chief in the southern province of Kandahar, was killed in the attack, Afghan officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday strongly condemned the terror attack in Afghanistan, saying India stands in solidarity with the people of that country.”Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terrorist attack in Kandahar. India condemns it most strongly and mourns with our Afghan brethren the loss of life, including that of Kandahar’s senior leadership,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Modi.”We stand in solidarity with the brave people of Afghanistan in fighting terrorism imposed on them,” another tweet by the PMO said.Pakistan also strongly condemned the attack and expressed its solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.”Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack reportedly resulting in the sad demise of senior Kandahar security officials and causing injuries to many others,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.Pakistan stands with the Afghan government and people and reiterates its support for the Afghan democratic process, it added.”We hope that the Parliamentary elections due to take place the day after tomorrow would be held peacefully. Strengthening of democracy is key to long term peace and security in Afghanistan,” it said.

Source : India TV

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