KANDAHAR: General Abdul Raziq, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful security officials, was killed on Thursday when a bodyguard opened fire following a meeting in the governor’s compound in Kandahar, officials said.
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, but the local commander of the NDS intelligence service was killed and the provincial governor was severely wounded.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had targeted both Miller and Raziq, who had a fearsome reputation as a ruthless opponent of the insurgents.
The attack was a devastating blow to the Afghan government ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday, which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt.
“The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along several other officials,” Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said in a statement emailed to the media.
According to Ahmadi, the main targets of the attack – part of ‘Al Khandaq’ offensive – were Gen Miller, Gen Raziq. He claimed that Gen Raziq, local intelligence chief Abdul Momin, and several other Afghan and foreign officials were killed and many more injured in the attack.