US commander unscathed in shooting that killed top Afghan official

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as the country prepares for parliamentary elections

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as the country prepares for parliamentary elections

The top USA commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, has escaped unhurt in what appears to be an insider attack inside the governor's compound in Kandahar province but the powerful police chief General Abdul Razeq was killed, officials said.

One of Afghanistan's most powerful security officials and the Kandahar governor were killed in a shooting shortly after a visit by the top USA commander in Afghanistan, in an attack likely to shake the confidence of the government ahead of elections.

USA military officials confirmed that a US soldier, a contractor and another civilian were wounded in the attack, which occurred shortly after a high-level meeting attended by Miller.

Two Americans were wounded in a shooting outside the governor's mansion in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar.

Two American troops were wounded in the assault, while Afghan police Chief Abdul Raziq was killed.

"The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed powerful provincial police chief Abdul Raziq", Jennifer Glasse reports from Kabul for NPR's Newscast.

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But a person with knowledge of the incident said in a telephone interview that "several sources" reported that the three were killed.

The gunman, reported to be a security guard, opened fire as officials left a meeting in Kandahar province. "Initial reports also say the attacker is dead", said Col. Knut Peters, a Resolute Support mission spokesman, in an email to NPR. "We are being told the area is secure". At the time, he said a nationwide campaign against the Taliban was needed and that he believed the group "was puppets of other countries".

He had survived a number of assassination attempts, including suicide attacks, but had managed to strengthen security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants. The assailant was reportedly one of the governor's bodyguards. The militia has been heavily targeted by the Taliban in recent years.

In August a year ago TOLOnews had a special interview with Gen. Abdul Raziq, Kandahar Police Chief.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reacted to the bombing of parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman's office in Lashkargah city the capital of Helmand province.

The shooting in Kandahar continued a surge in violence across Afghanistan ahead of parliamentary elections Saturday.

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