Afghan election: Polls in Kandahar delayed a week

Afghan election: Polls in Kandahar delayed a week

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

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

Kandahar governor Zalmay Wesa and Kandahar spy chief Abdul Momin also died.

The officials were fired upon after the talks when they were heading towards the helipad, local media reported, adding that the shots came from one of the nearby buildings.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the killing of the Kandahar police chief is unlikely to fundamentally weaken the security situation. Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident.

The commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission to Afghanistan US General Scott Miller was in a meeting with the Afghan officials moments before the attack but was unharmed.

The shooting broke out at the end of a meeting between Miller and officials who had been discussing how to maintain security during Afghanistan's parliamentary elections, scheduled for Saturday. General Miller is uninjured.

Kandahar's anti-Taliban police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq, 39, was killed; TOLO described him as "a fierce patriot. committed to stamping out terrorism".

The attack on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy came at the end of a particularly violent day across Afghanistan as tensions are rising ahead of the country's parliamentary elections on Saturday.

Two Americans, including one USA service member, were wounded. "Responding to the shooting, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told Reuters that the attack will not change the USA resolve in its South Asia strategy if anything it made them more resolute".

"The United States is resolved to continue its support for the government and people of Afghanistan as they work to provide security for all Afghan citizens".

Raziq, an anti-Taliban strongman, was widely seen as a bulwark against the insurgency in Kandahar, the militant group's birthplace, and had previously survived multiple assassination attempts.

Mujahid went on to claim that the attack was carried out during a meeting in the provincial government compound and as a result a number of other senior officials have sustained injuries.

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

It was unclear if the attack would affect the process, following a meeting last week of Taliban officials and the US special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, but complicates an already hard situation.

At least 10 candidates have been killed so far, including Abdul Jabar Qahraman who was blown up Wednesday by a bomb placed under his sofa in the southern province of Helmand.

Elections are due to be held across most of the rest of Afghanistan on Saturday.

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