A top Afghan security commander, Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq, has been killed in an attack that targeted him and a high-level US commander. Taliban militants claimed the attack which happened after a high-level meeting inside the governor's compound, saying they had targeted Gen Raziq and top U.S. commander Gen Scott Miller, who escaped.
Kandahar's intelligence chief, Abdul Mohmin was also killed and the governor critically injured, when a bodyguard opened fire after the meeting. Three Americans were also reported hurt.
In their claim of responsibility, the Taliban said they had targeted both Miller and Raziq, who had a fearsome reputation as a ruthless opponent of the armed group.
The attack by the Taliban is a deadly blow to Afghanistan’s government which has been reeling under an onslaught of attacks by the Taliban across the country. This attack in the Kandahar city comes ahead of elections on Saturday which the Taliban had vowed to disrupt.
Raziq was criticised by human rights groups but highly respected by U.S. officers who saw him as one of Afghanistan's most effective leaders, largely responsible for keeping Kandahar province under control.
The Aljazeera called Raziq a flamboyant commander, who had survived several attempts on his life over many years and narrowly escaped an attack last year in which five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Kandahar.
General Scott Miller paid tribute to the killed army commander, calling him a “great friend and true patriot of Afghanistan.”
"Today I lost a great friend LTG Raziq. We had served together for many years. Afghanistan lost a patriot, my condolences to the people of Afghanistan. The good he did for Afghanistan and the Afghan people cannotbe undone. " - Gen. Scott Miller
— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) October 18, 2018
The UN Security Council too strongly condemned the attack in Afghanistan, asserting that efforts to disrupt elections and democratic process in the war-torn country is unacceptable.
The Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attacks that took place in Afghanistan over the past weeks, including in Jowzjan, Kunduz, Takhar, Herat, Zabul, Farah and Kandahar, resulting in numerous casualties, ahead of the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan on October 20.