Jabar Qahraman, Afghan election candidate, killed in explosion in campaign office

Jabar Qahraman, Afghan election candidate, killed in explosion in campaign office

A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire Thursday on participants in a meeting with the top US commander in Afghanistan, killing three top southern provincial officials and wounding at least three Americans, officials said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman Colonel Knut Peters said Miller, who took command of US and forces and the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan last month, was uninjured but two Americans were wounded in the crossfire.

Miller was not hurt in the assault claimed by the militant group that also wounded at least 12 people, including three Americans and a provincial governor, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and Afghan officials said.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said President Ghani has instructed the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident, bring the perpetrators to justice, and take necessary measures to ensure safety of the electoral gatherings.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is calling it an "Afghan-on-Afghan" incident; the Associated Press says the officials were "killed by their own guards" in the attack. Two Americans were wounded in the cross-fire and they have been medically evacuated.

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Several local witnesses and two lawmakers from Kandahar confirmed Raziq's death, while reports quoted Interior Minister Wais Barmak as saying that Kandahar's governor and spy chief were also injured in the attack.

"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. "We are being told the area is secure".

Amrulleh Saleh, a former Afghan national intelligence chief, tweeted that Abdul Raziq had been "an architect of stability" in Kandahar who had established "deep political networks" in support of the government. "It is a pan Afg loss". As provincial police commander, he was widely credited with having curbed guerrilla activity around Kandahar City, where the Taliban was born in the 1990s. But he was also accused of torture and corruption. At least two other Afghan officials also were killed in the incident, which comes just two days before key elections in Afghanistan.

The flamboyant commander, he had survived several attempts on his life over many years and narrowly escaped an attack last year in which five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Kandahar.

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