Taliban kill powerful Afghan police chief in Kandahar


Several Afghan and worldwide security officials said Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful commanders with a fearsome reputation as an enemy of the Taliban, had been killed.

At least two other Afghan officials also were killed in the incident, which comes just two days before key elections in Afghanistan. He said Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa also died after being taken to a hospital, although security officials in the capital maintained Wesa was wounded but survived.

Wahida Shakar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor, says three Afghan civilians were also wounded.

Col. Knut Peters, a Resolute Support spokesman said in a statement Thursday evening: "There was a situation at the Kandahar palace today".

"Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident", Peters said.

Niyaz Mohammad Amirii (R), governor of Logar province, chats with U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan, following a shura in the governor's office on March 26, 2014, in Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan.

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Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the militant group carried out the attack, and Miller was the target.

The meeting discussed security measure for providing security for polling centers in Kandahar and other restive southern provinces.

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. The Taliban say they were targeting Gen. Miller.

"Over 70,000 security forces are there to maintain security".

He had been a key figure in the U.S. strategy of securing the southern region against the Taliban.

"He was seen as crucial to the security of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban where the group continued to have a presence".

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The local head of the National Directorate of Security were also injured in the shooting, a senior security official said, the latest in a string of attacks targeting officials and candidates in the lead up to the October 20 parliamentary elections.

Poll-related violence has increased ahead of the long-delayed vote, with hundreds of people killed or wounded in attacks across the country. The Taliban has threatened to disrupt the voting and has warned Afghans against participating in what the radical Islamist group regards as a pretext for perpetuating US intervention in the country. "We stand in solidarity with the courageous people of Afghanistan in fighting terrorism imposed on them".

Elections are due to be held across most of the rest of Afghanistan on Saturday.

On Wednesday, an Afghan Parliament member, Abdul Jabar Qahraman, who was seeking re-election, was killed in a Taliban bomb blast in neighboring Helmand province.

Raziq narrowly escaped an attack a year ago in which five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Kandahar.

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