Afghan guards kill Kandahar police chief in insider attack; US troops hurt
Kandahar, Oct 18: An Afghan security chief and a journalist were killed and three Americans wounded Thursday when a gunman opened fire on a high-level security meeting attended by top US commander General Scott Miller, officials said.
The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack in the southern city of Kandahar that comes two days before Afghanistan's parliamentary elections that the militant group has vowed to disrupt.
Security forces swarmed the city after the attack at the provincial governor's office where the senior Afghan and foreign officials had gathered, witnesses told AFP.
The Taliban said General Abdul Raziq, the powerful police chief of Kandahar province with a fierce reputation for brutality, was the target of the shooting.
Raziq was killed and six of his bodyguards wounded, a provincial security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The shooting happened as they were leaving the meeting," the official said, adding two members of Afghanistan's spy agency also were injured.
Miller was not hurt in the shooting, NATO's Resolute Support mission spokesman Colonel Knut Peters said in a statement.
Three Americans, including a soldier, civilian and contractor, were wounded in the cross-fire and had been evacuated from the scene.
"Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident," Peters said.
"We are being told the area is secure."
A hospital official told AFP that several senior officials had been brought to the medical facility, but they would not provide further details.
Another witness said the city was "full of military forces".
"They don't allow anyone to come out of their houses," he told AFP.
Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October 20, after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.