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.NYT:
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.
Afghan Leader Blindsided by U.S. Meeting With Taliban, Officials Say
The American special envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, just days after hearing the Mr. Ghani’s concerns in Kabul, the Afghan capital, flew to the gulf state of Qatar and quietly met with Taliban representatives. Mr. Ghani and his government heard of that meeting only through news reports, and found out further details not through his American allies — even after he asked — but through a Taliban statement, according to several officials with detailed knowledge of the developments.