Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Top Afghan official killed in shooting, United States general unhurt

Private security stands guard outside the election campaign office of Miwais Popal one of the parliamentary election candidates. EPA Private security stands guard outside the election campaign office of Miwais Popal one of the parliamentary election candidates. EPA
Pablo Mccormick | 18 October, 2018, 17:52

A senior security official said on Thursday the governor's bodyguard opened fire and hit Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful commanders with a fearsome reputation as an enemy of the Taliban, in the back as soon as officials came out of the meeting.

A bombing targeting a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy near Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, has killed at least two civilians and wounded several alliance soldiers, Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials say.

Afghan TV reported that members of the Kandahar province governor's elite guards began firing on Americans and Afghan officials during the meeting, which included Gen. Scott Miller, the head of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan. Two Americans were injured in the incident at the compound, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson said, and a local cameraman was reportedly killed.

"Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident", Peters said. "Two Americans were wounded in the cross-fire and they have been medically evacuated", NATO's Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

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"General Miller is uninjured", he added.

Razeq 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. "We are being told the area is secure". He had no further information.

On July 1, the Afghan Sikh and Hindu community leader, Ottar Singh Khalsa, who was running for parliamentary elections, was killed in a suicide attack in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar province. Bagram is located about 40 kilometers from Kabul and is the site of a sprawling US military base.

The BBC's Secunder Kermani in Kabul says Gen Raziq was a powerful opponent of the Taliban.

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On September 2, Anwar Niazi, a Parwan candidate, was killed and two others wounded when a magnetic IED was detonated against the vehicle they were traveling in.

He was accused of abuses, including torturing Taliban inmates, but had brought reasonable security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants.

In January previous year, the visiting ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, five other UAE diplomats and some local officials were killed by explosives hidden in a government building in Kandahar.

Governor Wesa took charge of the province after his predecessor Humayun Azizi was injured in the same 2017 attack.

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