US commander in Afghanistan survives deadly attack at governor’s compound

Private security stands guard outside the election campaign office of Miwais Popal one of the parliamentary election candidates. EPA

The top USA commander in Afghanistan recently escaped an attack by the Taliban, which claimed the lives of at least two Afghanistan security officials.

The Taliban claiming responsibility for the Kandahar attack that killed the US' top Afghan ally shows that the militant group is becoming even bolder in trying to assert itself, author and professor Jeremy Kuzmarov told Sputnik Thursday.

Early on, there were conflicting reports about whether Gov. Zalmai Wesa and Gen. Nabi Elham, the police commander for the southern zone with responsibility for several provinces, had survived the attack.

A Taliban spokesman who claimed responsibility for the attack told The Associated Press that US Gen Scott Miller, commander of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in Afghanistan, was the target.

A Taliban spokesman said they had been targeting Washington's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, who escaped without injury.

Kandahar's police chief, the provincial governor, and the local intelligence chief were among at least three killed in the shooting.

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"It is a big loss for Afghanistan", Shakeba Hashimi, a legislator from Kandahar, said by cellphone as she was en route to his funeral at a hospital there. He had no further information. Three Americans were wounded, have been medically evacuated and are stable. Two Americans were injured in the incident at the compound, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson said, and a local cameraman was reportedly killed.

"We remain absolutely committed to an Afghan-led Afghan reconciliation", he said.

Razik was a particularly powerful figure in southern Kandahar and a close United States ally despite widespread allegations of corruption.

President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack on Qahraman, who he had sent to Helmand in 2016 as an envoy to help defeat the Taliban. That incident came a day after the Taliban warned candidates to withdraw from the parliamentary election, which the group has vowed to attack.

A senior USA commander has narrowly escaped a gun attack in which a top Afghan police chief was killed.

The officials had reportedly met to discuss Saturday's parliamentary elections that are due to be held countrywide.

In 2012, he was targeted by a suicide bomber and also the same year his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb.

Of the five Czech soldiers, one was seriously injured when their vehicle overturned following the explosion. The UN committee against torture in 2017 said that he should be prosecuted over allegations of torture and enforced disappearances. "Wish to see Afghan and other security forces succeeding to bring an end to this prolonged violence in Afghanistan".

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

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