Police chief Abdul Raziq shot dead by own guard in Afghanistan

Private security stands guard outside the election campaign office of Miwais Popal one of the parliamentary election candidates. EPA

The police chief and intelligence head of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar have been killed in a shooting attack, officials say, in a major blow to the West-backed government in Kabul.

NATO's Resolute Support mission confirmed that an incident had occurred at Kandahar Palace, on the governor's compound.

Another lawmaker, Khalid Pashtun, also said the police chief, governor and intelligence chief were killed in the attack, the Associated Press reported.

Kandahar's provincial governor, Zalmay Wesa, later died of his injuries at the hospital.

Peters said initial reports indicate one of the original attackers is dead.

Niyaz Mohammad Amirii (R), governor of Logar province, chats with U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Afghanistan, following a shura in the governor's office on March 26, 2014, in Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan.

It was members of Wesa's elite guard unit who turned their guns on their colleagues during a high-level security meeting ahead of Saturday's parliamentary elections. "I express my deepest sympathy and grief with all people of Afghanistan, especially with residents of the town".

Miller was present during the shooting but uninjured.

In general, in Afghanistan, the rural areas outside the city are considered to be much harder to secure and many of them are under Taliban influence or control.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation convoy was attacked near the Afghan capital Kabul, killing two civilians and injuring five Czech troops.

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"The United States is resolved to continue its support for the government and people of Afghanistan as they work to provide security for all Afghan citizens".

"When the Taliban are determined to kill me, my soldiers and my people, I cannot be gentle on them, and I can never forgive them", he said.

Security officials in Afghanistan had warned of attacks ahead of the election, but Razeq's death triggered deep shock that officials fear may deter voters, particularly after Taliban warnings not to participate in what the militants consider a foreign-imposed ballot.

Now, the attack in Kandahar has diverted the attention of the country's security leadership to the province at a time when it is needed nationwide for the election.

He was accused of abuses, including torturing Taliban inmates, but had brought reasonable security in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban militants.

The attack came as the country was preparing for long-delayed elections for Wolesi Jirga, or lower house of the Afghan Parliament, slated for Saturday, with more than 2,500 candidates vying for the chamber's 249 seats.

In January previous year, the visiting ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, five other UAE diplomats and some local officials were killed by explosives hidden in a government building in Kandahar.

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

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, which takes the number of candidates killed so far during the campaign season to at least 10.

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