Powerful Afghan police chief killed in shooting at security meeting

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Several Afghan and worldwide security officials said Razeq, one of Afghanistan's most powerful commanders with a fearsome reputation as an enemy of the Taliban, had been killed.

The gunman killed the powerful Kandahar police chief and at least one other senior Afghan official but missed the top US commander in the country, Gen. Scott Miller.

"There was a situation at the Kandahar palace today", said Col. David Butler, spokesman for U.S. Forces Afghanistan "Initial reports indicate Afghan officials were the targets".

"Sources also say the attack was initiated by at least one of the governor's bodyguards", TOLO added. The U.S. military released a statement confirming that Miller, who was in the compound at the time of the attack, was not hurt, but that three Americans had been wounded.

Thursday's attack underlined how precarious the situation remains in Afghanistan after more than 17 years of war and even after Taliban and US officials have opened preliminary contacts aimed at establishing the basis for future peace talks.

Raziq and intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin died immediately in the attack and provincial governor Zalmay Wesa died of his injuries at a hospital.

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For the first time since a US -led invasion forced the Taliban from power in 2001, elections won't be held across Afghanistan.

Raziq and two others, including the provincial intelligence chief and a journalist, were killed in the attack.

The three Americans who were wounded and evacuated from the scene included a soldier, civilian and contractor.

He had been a key figure in the USA strategy of securing the southern region against the Taliban.

Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed parliamentary elections on October 20, after the Taliban pledged to block the vote.

Miller was present during the shooting but uninjured. The Taliban have said they carried out the attack.

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"People and the security forces of Afghanistan have been paying a heavy price due to continued instability and threats from the enemies of peace", Imran Khan said in a statement. "I think it's too early to say whether it will have any real effect on the upcoming election".

According to ISPR, General Bajwa "expressed wishes to see Afghan and other security forces succeeding to bring an end to this prolonged violence in Afghanistan".

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

"It's believed that one of the governor's guards opened fire, but it is not yet confirmed", said Agha Lalay Datagiri, the deputy governor of Kandahar.

Eight US soldiers and three other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation service members have died in Afghanistan so far this year.

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