Post Incident Report: The Death of General Abdul Raziq
Afghanistan General, Abdul Raziq, was killed in an attack in Kandahar. The death of General Raziq was claimed by the Taliban.
A gunman opened fire during a meeting between a group of high-profile officers from the Afghan Government and the US military at the Governor’s compound in Kandahar. The Taliban were quick to release images on social media of the attacker, who appears to have been a security guard at the meeting.
As well as the death of General Raziq, the Kandahar provincial governor and the provincial NDS director for Kandahar were also killed. US General Miller was also present at the time of the attack and was not wounded, although three US personnel were wounded (ranks and identifies are currently unknown). The Taliban explicitly mentioned General Miller as a target of the attack.
The death of three high profile members of the Provincial Government is already a significant loss, however the death of General Raziq is particularly hard-hitting. It is not clear who will replace Raziq, but Raziq is reported to have controlled a highly centralised grip on power in the province, ensuring that a power vacuum will exist in the wake of his death. Bio’s of the deceased general claim that Raziq built his power base from the Adozai branch of the Achakzai and accused him of being engaged in the drugs trade. Such themes are common within Afghan politics, but nevertheless serve to prove that Raziq’s influence was heavily embedded into Kandahar’s political landscape, and will therefore be hard to replace.
The attack comes at a time in which the country is preparing for parliamentary elections, with voters set to take to the polls on the 20th of October. Attacks have targeted Wolesi Jirga candidates and their supporters on a near daily basis. The most recent election-related incident (at the time of this article being written) was the kidnapping of three people in Logar who were campaigning for a Wolesi Jirga candidate. Questions have been raised as to how the ANSF will protect voters on the 20th, and how significantly voter turnout will be affected by security concerns.