Afghan election candidate among four killed in bomb attack

Afghanistan: Election candidate killed in bomb explosion at his office in Helmand province

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

The top United States commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, has escaped unhurt in what appears to be an insider attack inside the governor's compound in Kandahar province but the powerful police chief General Abdul Razeq was killed, officials said.

Several Afghan and global security officials confirmed Razeq's death.

Raziq was killed in the attack, while two USA citizens and several top Afghan official, including the governor, were wounded, Pajhwok Afghan News reported. Two Americans were injured in the incident at the compound, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesperson said, and a local cameraman was reportedly killed.

The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast in the southern province of Helmand, saying in a statement: "We have killed Qahraman, a renowned Communist".

"Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident", Peters said. "We are being told the area is secure".

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The gunman, reported to be a security guard, opened fire as officials left a meeting in Kandahar province. At least two other Afghan officials also were killed in the incident, which comes just two days before key elections in Afghanistan. "Two Americans were wounded in the cross-fire and they have been medically evacuated", Col Knut Peters, a spokesperson for Nato's Afghanistan mission told The National.

He had survived a number of assassination attempts, including suicide attacks, but had managed to strengthen security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants.

Afghan officials and the Czech military say the attack took place late Wednesday in the district of Bagram in Parwan province. As provincial police commander, he was widely credited with having curbed guerrilla activity around Kandahar City, where the Taliban was born in the 1990s. There are also reports that the region's provincial governor, Zalmay Wesa, has died of wounds suffered in the attack; Dastageri would neither confirm nor deny those reports to NPR.

Abdul Jabar Qahraman was killed as he prepared for Saturday's election, a senior government official said, becoming the 10th candidate killed in the past two months, with two more abducted and four wounded by hardline Islamist militants. His forces received Western training and funds, and US military officials often consulted him.

Afghan policemen stand guard at a checkpoint ahead of parliamentary election in Kandahar on October 18, 2018.

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