US Afghan Commander Escapes Assassination Attempt

Gen. Scott Miller lives, but Kandahar police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq is killed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2018 1:58 PM CDT
US Afghan Commander Escapes Assassination Attempt
In this September 2, 2018, photo, U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, delivers remarks in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson, via AP)

The top US commander in Afghanistan survived an assassination attempt Thursday, but a high-ranking Afghan official was killed. US Army Gen. Scott Miller was not injured in the attack in Kandahar City, which took place after a meeting to discuss security ahead of Saturday's national elections, reports the Wall Street Journal. However, the assault in which bodyguards for a regional governor opened fire did kill Kandahar's police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, described by the Journal as "one of southern Afghanistan's most powerful political and military figures." One other Afghan official was killed, the regional governor critically wounded, and three Americans—a service member and two civilians—were also hurt, per the AP.

The New York Times calls the attack "one of the most devastating Taliban assassination strikes of the long Afghan war," and the Taliban confirmed afterward that Miller and Raziq had been the targets. The assault took place at the regional governor's compound. "When the high-ranking participants were heading to helicopters, an enemy infiltrator opened fire on them,” says an Afghan government official. The 39-year-old Raziq was a controversial figure, seen as crucial in maintaining order in the region but also accused of human rights abuses and corruption. (Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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