Small Wars Journal

An Afghan Police Chief Took on the Taliban and Won. Then His Luck Ran Out.

An Afghan Police Chief Took on the Taliban and Won. Then His Luck Ran Out. By Taimoor Shah and Mujib Mashal – New York Times

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - One of the most devastating Taliban assassination strikes of the long Afghan war on Thursday killed a regional police chief with a larger-than-life reputation as one of the last stalwarts against the militants. The top American commander in Afghanistan narrowly escaped injury.

The assassination, just two days before national elections already undermined by violence, took place inside the provincial governor’s compound in Kandahar City.

In what appeared to be an insider attack, at least one gunman killed the police chief, as well as the provincial intelligence chief. The governor of Kandahar and another senior police commander were also targeted; reports about their fate were conflicting.

The police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, had survived dozens of attempts on his life and was widely considered an indispensable American ally with influence across critical areas of southern Afghanistan, in the Taliban heartland. A fierce commander, he pacified Kandahar Province, once one of the most troubled spots of the war, and then held it secure for years even as the Taliban gained large swathes of territory all around it…

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Powerful Afghan Police Chief Killed in Taliban Attack; Top U.S. Commander Escapes by Craig Nelson and Ehsanullah Amiri – Wall Street Journal

KABUL - Taliban insurgents assassinated one of southern Afghanistan’s most powerful leaders, and narrowly missed the top U.S. commander in the country, in the latest deadly attack to deal a setback to U.S. efforts to show progress in America’s longest-running war.

The assailant was a bodyguard for the governor of southern Kandahar province, who opened fire inside a compound housing the offices and residence of the provincial governor after a meeting to discuss security preparations for this weekend’s parliamentary elections.The Taliban, which has branded Saturday’s elections un-Islamic and pledged to disrupt the vote, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed Gen. Abdul Raziq, Kandahar’s police chief, and another Afghan official.

The U.S. denied the Taliban’s claim that the U.S. commander, Army Gen. Scott Miller, was also a target of the assault. An official at the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital said witnesses told U.S. authorities that the ambush was focused on Gen. Raziq, one of the Kabul government’s greatest champions in the most important seat of political and financial power in southern Afghanistan.

The attack—coming as the U.S. works to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the Taliban—risks dealing another setback to Washington’s 17-year effort to help build a stable and democratic Afghanistan…

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