Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Top Afghan official killed in shooting, USA general unhurt

Education for girls beyond 12 has been halted and many schools in Qadis district have closed Education for girls beyond 12 has been halted and many schools in Qadis district have closedGETTY IMAGES
Patty Aguilar | 18 October, 2018, 18:53

The Taliban claimed responsibility, and a Taliban spokesman said U.S. Gen. Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, was the target. There are however reports that two Americans have been wounded - one military and one civilian.

An Afghan security official told AFP the attack happened as the officials, including Miller, were leaving the meeting.

Raziq was killed in the attack, while two United States citizens and several top Afghan official, including the governor, were wounded, Pajhwok Afghan News reported.

"Teachers and students of educational institutes must stay away from all enemy political processes and must not allow the invaders and their stooges to utilize their schools for the implementation of their evil projects", the Taliban said in a statement.

Provincial police chief Gen Abdul Raziq was reported killed and other senior Afghan officials wounded. "Two Americans were wounded in the cross-fire and they have been medically evacuated", Col. Knut Peters, a Resolute Support spokesman, said in an email to Military Times. At least two other Afghan officials also were killed in the incident, which comes just two days before key elections in Afghanistan.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said President Ghani has instructed the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident, bring the perpetrators to justice, and take necessary measures to ensure safety of the electoral gatherings. "We are being told the area is secure".

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He had survived a number of assassination attempts, including suicide attacks, but had managed to strengthen security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants. And despite charges of people being tortured or killed while in police custody, he remained a powerful USA ally.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which also killed three of Mr Qahraman's companions in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

The shooting broke out in the compound of the governor of the embattled southern province of Kandahar, where the Taliban insurgency has been gaining ground. His forces received Western training and funds, and USA military officials often consulted him.

U.S. Col. Knut Peters, a spokesman for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, says two Americans troops who were wounded have been medically evacuated.

Afghanistan is tense ahead of the October 20 legislative election after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.

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