US Army Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley was injured in Afghan insider attack when a bodyguard opened fire on top officials, killing two
The police chief of Kandahar province, Gen. Abdul Raziq Achakzai, was killed as well as one other intelligence officer
The governor of Kandahar province, Zalmai Wesa was also injured in the attack on Thursday
US civilian employee and Afghan interpreter were also injured in the attack that took place following a security meeting.
Army Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley is recovering in hospital in Kandahar
The shooter, Governor Zalmai Wesa’s bodyguard, allegedly is connected with the Taliban
Gen. Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan, who was present but unhurt, was forced to drew his firearm in the Kandahar attack
US Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley [photo], was wounded and hospitalized after Thursday’s insider attack in Afghanistan
Two US serviceman were injured during an insider attack that killed two top Afghan officials in the Kandahar province on Thursday. One of those injured is Army Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley.
General Austin ‘Scott’ Miller, head of US and NATO forces in the country was present when an Afghan bodyguard shot dead an Afghan intelligence officer and police chief in a Taliban-credited attack on Oct. 18. Gen Miller, the top American military commander in Afghanistan, was forced to draw his handgun, though he did not fire and was unharmed.
Gen. Smiley’s identity was not disclosed until the weekend, three days after the Afghan bodyguard opened fire on American and Afghan security forces, killing Kandahar’s police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq and top intelligence official Gen. Abdul Mohmin.
US Gen Scott Miller, in a rather uncommon development for senior military brass, drew his sidearm during the attack that erupted in a Kandahar compound Thursday,
The governor of Kandahar province, Zalmai Wesa was also injured in the attack.
Gen. Achakzai, was one of the most prominent security figures in Afghanistan. The Taliban released a statement claiming responsibility saying they killed “the notorious police chief” who was their primary target in the attack.
The Americans included one US service member, a coalition contractor and one US civilian government employee, according to two US military officials. They were evacuated and are in stable condition.
Other people injured were identified as an American civilian employee and an Afghan interpreter.
The lone insider gunman, thought to be part of the provincial Governor’s elite security team, was shot dead by the US military. A spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Grant Neeley, speaking with told ABC news on Sunday confirmed that ‘General Smiley is recovering from a gunshot wound.
‘He is being treated at a Resolute Support hospital in Kandahar.’
Gen. Smiley, a 30-year veteran has been the commander of the Training and Advise and Assist Command-South [TAAC-South] since June, 2018. The TAAC-South plays the leading role in advising Afghan security forces in the south of the country.
He is in command of the California National Guard’s 40th Infantry, one of the leading units in Kandahar.
Gen. Miller, who is the head of US and NATO forces in the country, told the Tolo News Agency on Friday he believes the attacker was specifically targeting the Afghan officials.
‘What happened in Kandahar was an attack on the security forces,’ he said.
‘My assessment is that I was not the target. It was a very close confined space. But I don’t assess that I was the target.’
The attack which reportedly lasted seconds began shortly after Gen. Miller had attended a meeting with the top civilian and military officials in Kandahar on Thursday.
Miller, who was not in the direct line of fire but was stood close by, drew his weapon along with the other US personnel, which Butler says is standard procedure.
‘When there’s a threat, we will draw our weapons,’ he said. ‘That’s what we’re trained to do and Gen. Miller is no exception.’
However, US military officials could not immediately the last time such a high-ranking US military officer had been forced to draw their weapon. Generals rarely find themselves under attack and even more rarely are they wounded.
After the gunman was shot, American and Afghan forces secured the area and tended to the wounded, some of whom were treated on board Gen. Miller’s helicopter.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they killed ‘the notorious police chief’ who was the main target.
The parliamentary elections in Kandahar, which were due to take place two days after the incident, have been st back by a week.
In a video recorded from his hospital bed, wounded Kandahar Governor Zalmai Wesa said he was in a better condition but called Thursday’s attack an act of terror.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis said Thursday that he had met the police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq and that he was a ‘patriot.’
In a statement provided by the NATO-led coalition, Gen. Miller said: ‘Today I lost a great friend LTG Raziq.
‘We had served together for many years. Afghanistan lost a patriot, my condolences to the people of Afghanistan.
‘The good he did for Afghanistan and the Afghan people cannot be undone.’
Raziq was also dogged by accusations of serious human rights abuses – with the U.N. Committee against Torture calling for him to be prosecuted over allegations of torture and enforced disappearances.
Yet he was hugely influential in southern Afghanistan and US forces supported him as a bugger against insurgent and credited him with recent security improvements.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said Thursday that he had ordered his security officials to investigate the attack.
Kandahar has been relatively stable compared to other regions of Afghanistan, but the assassination of a key American ally will cast doubts over its future stability as the government prepares for the long-awaited parliamentary elections.
The death of Raziq throws the region’s future into uncertainty while the country is at a huge political crossroads.