Afghan election candidate among four killed in bomb attack

Education for girls beyond 12 has been halted and many schools in Qadis district have closed

"The brutal police chief of Kandahar has been killed along with several other officials", a Taliban statement said. He said Gen. Miller was the target and said Raziq, the governor and the intelligence chief were killed.

Three men sitting in Qahraman's office were also killed, said interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi, adding that police had arrested three suspects in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

The shooting broke out in the compound of the governor of the embattled southern province of Kandahar, where the Taliban insurgency has been gaining ground.

"I promise the Afghan people that soon the situation will get normal in Kandahar", Ghani said.

Peters says initial reports indicate the original attacker is dead. Three Americans, including a soldier, civilian and contractor, were wounded in the cross-fire and had been evacuated from the scene.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Bagram, which is the home of a sprawling US military base. "Responding to the shooting, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner told Reuters that the attack will not change the USA resolve in its South Asia strategy if anything it made them more resolute".

Miller, 57, took over last month as the top US commander in Afghanistan, replacing Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr.

Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan, was also attending, but survived uninjured, although a regional intelligence agency commander was killed and the provincial governor severely wounded.

CBN News has confirmed the top U.S. general in Afghanistan barely escaped Thursday after an attack during a high-level security meeting at the Kandahar Palace.

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Raziq had been the police chief for Kandahar province since 2011 and was known to have kept the Taliban at bay.

He had been a key figure in the U.S. strategy of securing the southern region against the Taliban.

This is one of the most important security incidents of the past 17 years - in which almost the entire leadership of a province has been eliminated.

For the first time since a US -led invasion forced the Taliban from power in 2001, elections won't be held across Afghanistan.

In addition to Raziq, intelligence chief Abdul Momin was also killed in the attack, Glasse reports, citing Kandahar's deputy governor Agha Lala Dastageri.

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. He narrowly escaped an attack previous year in which five Emiratis were killed and the UAE's ambassador to Afghanistan Juma Al Kaabi was injured.

US forces confirmed the attack, casting it as "Afghan on Afghan" violence.

It comes ahead of the all-important presidential elections due in April 2019.

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