An open-fire took place inside the Kandahar governor’s office on Thursday as an assailant started to open fire after a security meeting of senior officials including Resolute Support commander, General John Miller. Many high ranking officials from the government, the military as well as foreign allies were present.
Among those who lost their lives was the NDS Provincial director General Momin, Kandahar Police Chief General Raziq, and a journalist. Among the injured were the Governor of Kandahar Zalmai Wesa and commander of Maiwand 404 Police zone. NATO Resolute Support confirmed shortly after the incident that US Commander for International Forces (the Resolute Support) in Afghanistan General Scott Miller escaped the attack unharmed.
The attacker, who happened to be the bodyguard the Kandahar governor, was planted by the Taliban. The Taliban claimed the responsibility of the attack on Thursday and also stated that they sent their men to carry out the violent attack.
As of now, a senior security delegation under Massoom Istanikzai, the NDS chief of Afghanistan, ministers of interior Wais Ahmad Barmak and minister of defense Tareq Shah Bahrami has been sent to Kandahar, while the neighbouring provinces of Kandahar are reportedly under high alert. Consequently, commandos from neighboring provinces have been dispatched to Kandahar to mitigate and prevent any potential instability.
As the situation started to get under control, things became clearer about the casualties. By evening, reactions from within and abroad were swarming to express condolences and condemn the brutality of Taliban.
Gen. Akhtar Ibrahimi, the deputy Minister of Interior in a live presser pointed out that, “regional intelligence especially the Pakistan intelligence engage in training individuals to place in the system and then make tragedies like that of Kandahar.” Informing details about the assailant, Gen Ibrahimi confirmed that the attacker was 20 or 25 years old and a bodyguard of Kandahar’s governor. Lastly and most importantly, he believes that “The current war is not of Mullah Haibtullah and the rest but is an intelligence war that has roots in five continents.”
Some notable testimonies are as follows.
“Kandahar Police Chief was killed as result of a plot. He was killed via people inside the government.”- Ata Mohammad Noor senior strongman of the north and former governor of Balkh province.
“It is a sad day for Afghanistan. We lost a true son & a pillar of stability of this land. I am sure Pakistan/GHQ are celebrating now. After the martyrdom of Late Ahmad Shah Massoud the death of Gen Raziq will have serious consequence for Afghanistan. The nation should be united, ready/prepared.”- Rahmatullah nabil – Ex NDS Chief of Afghanistan.
“Can’t find weighty & dignified enough words to express my grief & pain for the loss of my compatriot & brother Gen. Razeq. He was the architect of stability in Kandahar by establishing a political network deep at grassroots level in support of State & ANDSF. It is a pan Afg loss” Amrullah Saleh – Former NDS chief of Afghanistan.
“What is happening in this country? In the peak of peace deal the most patriot general along with other officials killed. Who are we making peace deal with? Anti-terrorist figures are either physically being removed or politically.” MP Fawzia Kofi reacted in a twit.
“I condemn this barbaric attack in the strongest term and ask government identify perpetrators and put them on trial.”- MP Arif Rahmani.
“Absolutely shocked. I cannot find words to say how bad this is for the country. General, we are all pained and shocked beyond proportions. The country loves you.” Waheed Omer – Ambassador to Italy
“A dark day! Shocked & heartbroken by the demise of close friend, great patriot & national hero Gen Abdul Raziq who single-handedly restored stability to a volatile Kandahar and the greater south – May he rest in eternal peace!”- Dr. Omer Zakhilwal – Ex Ambassador in Pakistan.
“A dark day for Afghanistan with no more our brave and patriotic Afghan – General Raziq: I am shocked and left with no words now to describe this national tragedy to have lost a true son and a great hero of Afghanistan today. Afghanistan without you General, well… “-Shaida Mohammad Abdali – Ex Ambassador in India.
“The entire country cries & their heart bleeds for our hero Gen Raziq. You have been a true patriot. Your heroism will be written down in the history of this country & our kids will be inspired by your bravery. They can take you away from our sights, but not from our hearts.”- Adela Raz – Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan.
the reactions didn’t end to Afghanistan. The most notable reactions come from India where, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India stated that:
“Deeply shocked and saddened by the dastardly terrorist attack in Kandahar. India condemns it most strongly and mourns with our Afghan brethren the loss of life, including that of Kandahar’s senior leadership. We stand in solidarity with the brave people of Afghanistan in fighting terrorism imposed on them”.
“The assassination of Gen. Raziq in Kandahar shows once again that military analysis of the Afghan war, troop numbers, conditions vs. timetable, is mostly irrelevant. Afghan governments fall because of internal weakness and loss of foreign support, not because of military defeat. Times to reach a settlement based on actual conditions and abandon the illusion of fighting for a “position of strength.” I said it 8 years ago in the situation room, and I’ll keep saying it.”- Barnett R. Rubin the most notable scholar on Afghanistan.
“The Taliban’s assassination of General Raziq, arguably the most powerful pro-government figure in the south, is a massive blow to the government and security in Kandahar. That general Miller was at this meeting is stunning. More to come.” -Bill Roggio – Editor of the Long war Jounal
“This man murdered many people (taliban/rivals) acted as a governor/dictator in Kandahar and beyond. Many tried to kill him. Today they succeeded. Kandaharis must feel afraid of what will happen now security-wise.”- Bette Dam – Journalist covering Taliban. Authoress ‘A Man and a Motorcycle,
“It is a game-changer for south Afghanistan. Without Raziq, the Taliban can mount a campaign to seize Kandahar.”- Yaroslav Trofimov – Chief Foreign-Affairs Correspondent of The Wall Street Journal.
“Raziq, the brutal strongman of Kandahar whom the US/NATO let get away with murder over and over again because he kept their FOB and supply routes safe, killed. Hard to imagine security equation in Kandahar Province without him.”- Wesley Morgan – Military affairs reporter at Politico
“It’s hard to overstate the significance of the killing of Abdul Razeq. One of the biggest power brokers in a key region of Taliban strength.”- Michael Kugelman – Dep Director to Asia program
“Huge hit, massive loss. Two days ahead of provincial elections.”- Lynne O’Donnell: former AP chief Bureau chief in Kabul
“Tragic news from Afghanistan. Terror attack at Kandahar Governor’s Office kills several high-ranking officials including the dynamic Police Chief General Abdul Raziq who was vocal against Pakistan sponsored terrorism. Two US citizens also injured in the attack.”- Aditya Raj Kaul – Senior Associate Editor/Anchor for Republic
“All bets are off in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar is one of the few stable provinces left. Raziq was one of the few people in government able to maintain security (ahem: also an atrocious human rts abuser). His death is deeply destabilising for the entire country.”- Ashly Jackson – The Overseas Development Institute
President Ghani, while addressing a live press conference in Kabul this evening made two important points, as quoted:
“First and foremost, I offer my deep condolences to all the people of Afghanistan in general to Kandahar residents in particular on the sad occasion of Gen. Raziq’s martyrdom.”
“The situation is especially under assessment after the incident occurred. The Commander in Chief meeting has been held and necessary orders have been issued: NDS Chief, Masoom Stanikzai, High ranking officials from MoI and MoD along with the powerful commando will go to Kandahar tonight to control the situation. I assure all Afghans in general the Kandahar residents in particular those necessary steps will be taken and things will be brought back to normalcy.”