Powerful Afghan police commander killed in Kandahar insider attack

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as the country prepares for parliamentary elections

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan as the country prepares for parliamentary elections

The top USA military commander in Afghanistan survived an attack Thursday in the southern province of Kandahar in which a legendary Afghan police general and the local intelligence chief were killed and two American servicemembers were wounded, officials said.

Initial reports say the attacker was killed.

USA commander Gen Scott Miller escaped unhurt but two other U.S. citizens were injured, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihulla Mujahid said over social media that an "infiltrator" opened fire inside the governor's house during a meeting.

The governor and the local head of the NDS intelligence service were wounded.

An Afghan lawmaker contesting this week's parliamentary elections was among four people killed on Wednesday by a bomb planted under his office chair, officials said, in an attack claimed by Taliban militants. General Miller was safely evacuated form the area after the incident, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said.

Afghan officials said the assault began as attendees were leaving the complex.

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The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the explosion.

Col. Knut Peters, a Resolute Support spokesman said in a statement Thursday evening: "There was a situation at the Kandahar palace today".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman Col Knut Peters said the wounded Americans had been caught in the crossfire and had been evacuated.

"General Miller is uninjured", he added. A veteran of some of the U.S. military's most secretive combat units, he formerly served as commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and participated in numerous combat operations, including in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

Two American troops were wounded in the assault, while Afghan police Chief Abdul Raziq was killed.

He was accused of abuses, including torturing Taliban inmates, but had brought reasonable security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants.

Poll-related violence has increased ahead of the long-delayed vote, with hundreds of people killed or wounded in attacks across the country. He narrowly escaped an attack a year ago in which five Emiratis were killed and the UAE's ambassador to Afghanistan Juma Al Kaabi was injured.

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