Police chief Abdul Raziq shot dead by own guard in Afghanistan

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"The provincial governor, head of intelligence and the commander of the military corps in the region were also shot", he added.

The commander of US forces in Afghanistan escaped unhurt today after a gunman opened fire on officials leaving a high-profile meeting that included Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller. Their conditions were not immediately known.

"Gen. Miller is unhurt", said Peters.

NATO, meanwhile, announced that US General Scott Miller escaped the attack unscathed.

The Taliban claiming responsibility for the Kandahar attack that killed the US' top Afghan ally shows that the militant group is becoming even bolder in trying to assert itself, author and professor Jeremy Kuzmarov told Sputnik Thursday.

A disarmingly youthful-looking figure, with a toothy smile belying a fearsome reputation, the 39-year-old Razeq was by far the most powerful commander in the strategically vital provinces of southern Afghanistan.

Initial reports say the attacker was killed.

Raziq, who had survived dozens of attempts on his life, was widely considered to be an indispensable security chief with influence across critical areas of southern Afghanistan, in the Taliban heartland.

However, Kandahar Police Chief Abdul Razik and Intelligence Chief Abdul Mohmin were pronounced dead at the scene. His forces received Western training and funds, and USA military officials often consulted him.

Gaza clashes 'cannot continue': Israeli defence minister
It has accused Hamas of using the mass protests as a cover to infiltrate into Israel and carry out attacks. The permitted fishing zone along the Gaza coast was also reduced to three nautical miles.

The interior ministry said they have put in place measures to ensure voting happens without incidents.

Razik was a particularly powerful figure in southern Kandahar and a close USA ally despite widespread allegations of corruption. 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.

Afghanistan is on high alert ahead of the long-delayed legislative elections, scheduled for October 20, after the Taliban pledged to attack the ballot.

Two Americans were injured in the attack (earlier reports put the number at three; the third was apparently a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation coalition but not from the United States).

The Taliban claimed on their website that "amid the series of ongoing Al Khandaq crushing operations, mujahideen carried out" the attack.

Of the five Czech soldiers, one was seriously injured when their vehicle overturned following the explosion.

Residents of an entire province won't go to the polls because the country's security forces can't protect polling stations there.

At least 10 candidates have been killed in attacks around the country in the run-up to the vote. The Taliban also attacked checkpoints in the northern Baghlan province, killing six policemen and wounding two others in a four-hour battle.

There are reports that the local army commander also died.

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