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18 October, 2018 08:45:53 PM

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Top Afghan official killed in shooting

Independent Online Desk/Al Jazeera
Top Afghan official killed in shooting
Abdul Raziq was one of the most powerful figures in the Afghan security aparatus [Muhammad Sadiq/EPA

General Abdul Raziq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful security officials, was killed when a bodyguard opened fire after a meeting in the governor's compound in the southern province of Kandahar, officials said.

The governor of Kandahar, Zalmai Wesa, along with a local commander of the NDS intelligence service, were also killed in Thursday's shooting, claimed by the Taliban.

General Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan who had been at the meeting with Raziq only moments earlier, was uninjured in the attack.

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 killing of Raziq is a blow to the Afghan government ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday, which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Kabul, said two US official were also wounded in the gun attack.

"There was a meeting between the US top commander in Afghanistan Scot Miller with the top government representatives in Kandahar. After that meeting, there was gunfire inside the compound.

"In that gunfire, the intelligence chief, top police commander and the governor were killed.

Two Americans were injured," Alhelbarra reported.

Officials said one of the governor's bodyguards opened fire on Raziq as he came out of the meeting with Miller and other officials, severely wounding him and several other senior officials including the governor.

The governor later died of his injuries.

Taliban claim
On multiple occasions in recent years, the Taliban have managed to infiltrate the most secure government meetings to strike at the heart of its command and control. But this is the first time that three top security officials are killed in an attack.

"The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along several other officials," a Taliban statement said.

Raziq was criticised by human rights groups but highly respected by US officers who saw him as one of Afghanistan's most effective leaders, largely responsible for keeping Kandahar province under control.

A flamboyant commander, he 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.

NATO spokesperson Colonel Knut Peters said Miller, who took command of US and forces and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan last month, was uninjured but he confirmed that two Americans were wounded in the crossfire.

HM

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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