General Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar Provincial Chief of Police, was killed in an attack after a high-profile meeting in Kandahar on Thursday afternoon – October 18, 2018.
Several other high-level officials were in attendance at the meeting to include the Resolute Support Mission commander – General Scott Miller. Some news reports say the provincial governor – Zalmai Wesa was wounded; along with the commander of Maiwand 404 Police Zone. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief of the province, General Abdul Momin Hassankhail, was killed in the attack.
Initial media reports say that the governor’s guards turned their guns on their fellow Afghan colleagues and American troops as the meeting attendees were escorting General Miller and his entourage from the meeting room to a helipad. The Taliban have issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack and that the attack was against the Afghan officials and General Miller. The attacker was killed during the incident.
Three Coalition members are reported to be wounded; one US service member, one US civilian, and one Coalition contractor. Resolute Support HQs say that Gen Miller was unhurt in the attack. Resolute Support HQs maintains that it was an “Afghan-on-Afghan” incident and that the three wounded Americans were caught in the crossfire. Some news reports say that General Miller was hit with gunfire but his body armor saved him from injury. Miller is reported to have drawn his sidearm but did not fire. RS HQs would not confirm if he was hit be gunfire; only saying he was uninjured. The names of the wounded Coalition members have not been released.
A cameraman working for Afghanistan’s state television (RTA) was also killed in the incident. Three members of the ANDSF were also reported killed although information on those fatalities is sketchy.
General Miller released the following comment on October 18th:
“Today I lost a great friend Lt. Gen. Raziq. We had served together for many years. Afghanistan lost a patriot, my condolences to the people of Afghanistan. The good he did for Afghanistan and the Afghan people cannot be undone.”
General Raziq was a formidable force in Kandahar and had admirers and detractors. His fans pointed to the relative security of the province during his time as Provincial Chief of Police (PCOP) while his critics pointed to humanitarian abuses and drug trafficking activities. He was a great ally of the United States and was supported by the U.S. with resources, equipment, and political support. He was a fierce critic of Pakistan’s support of the Taliban.
General Abdul Raziq was from the border district of Spin Boldak in Kandahar province. He is a member of the Pashtun ethnic group and of the Abozai, a part of the Achakzai tribe. He began his career in the Afghan Border Police (ABP) and rose rapidly through the ranks. His family was targeted by the Taliban in the days before 9/11. He was an ardent opponent of the Taliban.
He had escaped many attacks on his life in the past. In 2017 he narrowly escaped death during a meeting where five diplomats from the United Arab Emirates were killed in Kandahar.
There will likely be some political turmoil ahead as different factions within the province jockey for position. Certainly the death of the Kandahar provincial chief of police and NDS chief two days before the Afghan parliamentary elections will not contribute to the security of the electoral process. The elections to be held on Saturday, October 20th is being contested by the Taliban who have warned citizens not to vote. Because of the assassinations of Kandahar province leaders the elections in Kandahar have been delayed one week.
The security situation will no doubt suffer as well until another ‘strongman’ emerges. Raziq was very much in opposition to the Taliban.
Kandahar New Police Commander, NATO Channel DVIDS, July 6, 2011. General Raziq is interviewed by NATO.
General Abdul Raziq, Afghan War News.