Bomb kills Afghan election candidate, wounds 7

Minnie Murray
October 19, 2018

General Abdul Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful security officials, has been killed after a bodyguard opened fire following a meeting in the Governor's compound in the southern province of Kandahar.

Miller had been meeting with Raziq in a heavily fortified compound in Kandahar city when a member of the provincial governor's security team opened fire on the high-level gathering.

A total of three USA nationals were wounded Thursday after a Taliban sympathizer dressed himself as a member of the Afghan security forces and opened fire at the residence of the governor of Afghanistan's Kandahar province.

The top commander for U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, General Scott Miller, was also present but escaped injury.

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Raziq was lucky to survive a 2017 bomb attack that killed six United Arab Emirates' officials, including the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.

The police chief and intelligence head of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar have been killed in a shooting attack, officials say, in a major blow to the West-backed government in Kabul.

USA military spokesman Col. Dave Butler said the wounded Americans "have been medically evacuated and are stable", adding that the attacker is dead and the area is secure.

Two American troops were also wounded in the shooting.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Mohammad Yusuf Ahmadi, said in an email to journalists that the group carried out the attack and that its "main target" was Miller. In an AP interview, his adviser, Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, said the attack was meant to disrupt elections and urged voters to defy Taliban threats, saying casting their ballot "would be a big slap on the face of the enemy". Afghanistan lost a patriot, my condolences to the people of Afghanistan.

Mattis said he did not see Raziq's death as changing things on the ground in Kandahar.

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

The election process has already been marred by bloody violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in recent months.

The attack comes just days after the Taliban and the Afghan government said US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Taliban officials in Qatar to discuss a peace deal with the terror group.

Col Peters said initial reports indicated the original attacker is dead.

He rose through the police ranks after the USA -led invasion of 2001 that ousted the Taliban, serving for a time as commander of the protection force along Kandahar province's sensitive southern border with Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have again warned Afghans against participating in the Parliamentary Elections slated to be held on Saturday (October 20, 2018), saying that elections "are a foreign plot to prolong occupation".

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