UN Security Council condemns Afghan attacks

Private security stands guard outside the election campaign office of Miwais Popal one of the parliamentary election candidates. EPA

Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq and governor Zalmai Wesa were reportedly killed when a member of the provincial governor's elite guards turned his gun on his colleagues and American troops who were leaving a high-level security meeting at the Kandahar palace on Thursday.

Three top Kandahar officials, including Raziq, were killed by their own guards Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, although a Taliban spokesman who claimed responsibility told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that U.S Gen. Scott Miller, commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan was the target. General Miller was safely evacuated form the area after the incident, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said.

The attack happened after high-ranking officials, including Resolute Support commander Gen. Austin Scott Miller, had wrapped up a meeting with the governor and were making their way to a helipad in the governor's compound.

Besides Raziq, Kandahar's intelligence chief, Abdul Mohmin was killed in the attack, according to deputy provincial governor Agha Lala Dastageri.

Another major attack past year inside the Kandahar governor's office took a heavy toll on officials, killing a deputy governor, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, and members of Parliament.

Razeq, a survivor of numerous previous attacks, was killed outside the governor's office in the southern province on Thursday, when a bodyguard opened fire on a group of officials as they left a meeting. The US military released a statement saying that Miller had not been hurt, but that three Americans had been injured.

There were conflicting reports on the fate of Wessa and Abdul Momin, with Afghan news media reporting variously that they had been wounded or killed.

"This killing is the most significant military victory for the Taliban in recent memory", said Graeme Smith, a consultant with the International Crisis Group.

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

"He was the one guaranteeing security in Kandahar", said a foreign diplomat in Kabul.

The U.N. Security Council condemned the attacks and others recently in Afghanistan and said violence or threats meant to disrupt the elections were unacceptable.

Mattis called the death of Gen. Raziq a "tragic loss of a patriot".

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.

Several current and former officials confirmed the death of Abdul Raziq, 39, a close USA ally and fierce anti-Taliban fighter.

Peters says initial reports indicate the original attacker is dead.

Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October 20, after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.

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