3 top Afghan provincial officials killed, US general unhurt

Kandahar (Afghanistan): Three top Afghan officials and a local journalist were killed in a shooting at a meeting attended by Afghan and US officials in this southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Thursday.

Gen. Abdul Raziq, police chief of Kandahar, and Gen. Momin Khan, head of the intelligence department, were killed on the spot while Kandahar Governor Zulmay Weesa died of serious wounds in a hospital, a source told Xinhua news agency.

Gen. Raziq was a key anti-Taliban figure in southern Afghanistan and he had escaped over two dozen direct attacks and suicide bomb blasts in the past, the source said.

The shooter, who served as the Governor’s bodyguard, was also killed in the incident.

The source added that Gen. Austin Scott Miller, top US-NATO commander in Afghanistan, escaped from the attack but three US soldiers and several other people were injured in the attack, claimed by the Taliban insurgent group.

“This was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident. Three Americans were wounded, have been medically evacuated and are stable. Gen Miller is uninjured. We are being told the area is secure. The attacker is dead,” the US-Forces in Afghanistan tweeted.

The attack came as the country was preparing for long-delayed elections for Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of the Afghan Parliament, slated for Saturday, with more than 2,500 candidates vying for the chamber’s 249 seats.

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

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.

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