Saturday, 20 April, 2019

UN Security Council condemns Afghan attacks

English and science lessons have been exchanged for recitations of the Koran English and science lessons have been exchanged for recitations of the KoranMOHAMMAD SHARIF SHAYEQ GETTY IMAGES
Leonard Rios | 19 October, 2018, 12:47

The top US military commander in Afghanistan survived an attack Thursday in the southern province of Kandahar in which a legendary Afghan police general and the local intelligence chief were killed and three Americans were wounded, officials said.

It was members of Wesa's elite guard unit who turned their guns on their colleagues during a high-level security meeting ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said the target was Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller, who commands USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan, and Raziq.

Resolute Support issued a statement on Thursday evening stating Miller had escaped unharmed but that at least two Americans had been wounded in the attack.

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan escaped unhurt today after a gunman opened fire on officials leaving a high-profile meeting that included Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller.

In addition to Raziq, intelligence chief Abdul Momin was also killed in the attack, Glasse reports, citing Kandahar's deputy governor Agha Lala Dastageri.

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Provincial police spokesman Salam Afghan confirmed the explosion had killed one person and wounded at least two. He ruled the former Taliban heartland with an iron fist and had survived several past assassination attempts, including one a year ago that killed five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates.

"Over 70,000 security forces are there to maintain security".

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Officials said General Razeq and General Miller and the other officials were walking towards a landing zone as the helicopter taking the US General's party back to Kabul approached to land when the gunman, who was waiting outside, opened fire on the group.

Three senior Afghan officials were reported to be among the casualties, but there were conflicting accounts on whether they were killed or wounded.

"This killing is the most significant military victory for the Taliban in recent memory", said Graeme Smith, a consultant with the International Crisis Group. In an AP interview, his adviser, Ziaulhaq Amarkhil, said the attack was meant to disrupt elections and urged voters to defy Taliban threats, saying casting their ballot "would be a big slap on the face of the enemy".

The Americans were wounded in the cross-fire after gunfire erupted at the palace, Peters said.

Afghanistan witnessed a string of attacks ahead of the October 20 parliamentary elections.

With allegations of electoral fraud and threats of violence swirling over elections, it was a three-month audit process that was supported by the USA government that led to Ghanii being pronounced the Afghan president.

Mattis was cautious about whether the attack could hit turnout but said the USA aim of finding a negotiated, Afghan-led political solution to the conflict was unchanged.

The Taliban claimed on their website that "amid the series of ongoing Al Khandaq crushing operations, mujahideen carried out" the attack.

Mattis called the death of Gen. Raziq a "tragic loss of a patriot". "His mission there is to coordinate our US efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table", State Department press secretary Heather Nauert told reporters last week.

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