Kandahar governor, police chief killed in insider attack

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

Gunfire erupted Thursday in the compound of an Afghan provincial governor shortly after a high-level meeting involving the top USA commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller, Afghan officials said.

A senior security official said the governor's bodyguard opened fire and hit Razeq in the back as soon as officials came out of the meeting.

At least two US soldiers were reported wounded in the incident, but Miller was said to be unhurt, according to the officials.

An Afghan lawmaker contesting this week's parliamentary elections was among four people killed on Wednesday by a bomb planted under his office chair, officials said, in an attack claimed by Taliban militants.

"Provincial officials including the governor, the police chief and other officials were accompanying the foreign guests to the plane when the gunshots happened", said Jan Khakrezwal, head of the Kandahar provincial council. Two Americans were injured in the incident at the compound, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson said, and a local cameraman was reportedly killed.

"At Kandahar palace today: Afghan-on-Afghan incident, as initial reports indicate. 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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Officials were unable to immediately identify the attacker, although the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation press office in Kabul said initial reports suggest he is dead.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which takes the number of candidates killed so far during the campaign season to at least 10.

"General Miller is uninjured", he added. "We are being told the area is secure".

He continued: "The incident will also make the military balance in southern Afghanistan considerably more fragile, as General Raziq was often at the forefront of government efforts to slow the Taliban's advances".

The Czech Defense Ministry said five of its soldiers were wounded in the blast, one of them seriously. But he was also accused of torture and corruption. He narrowly escaped an attack previous year in which five Emiratis were killed and the UAE's ambassador to Afghanistan Juma Al Kaabi was injured.

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