On Thursday, October 18, Afghan guards assigned to the provincial governor's security detail opened fire on Afghan and NATO officials during a security meeting at the governor's residence in southwestern Kandahar city (Kandahar province). According to local sources, an Afghan police chief, Lieutenant General Abdul Raziq Achakzai, was killed in the attack. In addition, at least seven other people were wounded, including the governor of Kandahar, three Americans, two Afghan officers, and one journalist. Reports indicate that the commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, General Austin Scott Miller had been present at the meeting prior to the incident. The Taliban have issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.
An estimated 100 green-on-blue attacks (incidents in which Afghan police officers or soldiers target Afghan or NATO forces) have been reported since June 2017. One US soldier was killed and two others wounded in a green-on-blue attack in Tarinkot (Uruzgan province) on July 7.
Taliban militants regularly launch attacks on security forces in Afghanistan. Such assaults are likely intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and the Afghan government more broadly, to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country in 2014 and ahead of parliamentary and district elections scheduled on October 20.
Kandahar (Kandahar province) is the former capital of the Taliban government.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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