Top Afghan official killed in shooting, U.S. general unhurt

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

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

Two US citizens were wounded and a local police chief killed, as Afghan guards opened fire at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and US forces commander in Afghanistan, Austin S. Miller after his meeting with Kandahar officials in the city.

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.

A senior security official said the governor's bodyguard opened fire and hit Razeq in the back as soon as officials came out of the meeting.

A Taliban spokesman said the attack was carried out by the group and that its target was Miller and top Kandahar provincial officials.

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

Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack at the governor's compound.

"Initial reports indicate this was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident", Peters said.

An Afghan security official told AFP the attack happened as the officials, including Miller, were leaving the meeting.

Three Americans, including a soldier, civilian and contractor, were wounded in the cross-fire and had been evacuated from the scene. But in recent years, as a top police official and ruthless anti-insurgent fighter, he was widely praised for bringing Kandahar and the surrounding region under government control.

Kandahar's deputy provincial governor Agha Lala Dastageri said powerful provincial police chief Abdul Raziq and the province's intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin died immediately in the attack and provincial governor Zalmay Wesa died of his injuries at a hospital.

He rose through the police ranks after the US -led invasion of 2001 that ousted the Taliban, serving for a time as commander of the protection force along Kandahar province's sensitive southern border with Pakistan.

The shocking attack is likely to cast a shadow over US efforts to broker a lasting peace deal with the Taliban. "We are being told the area is secure".

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani reacted to the bombing of parliamentary candidate Abdul Jabar Qahraman's office in Lashkargah city the capital of Helmand province.

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

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