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Gunbattle in south Afghanistan kills top policeman

Gunbattle in south Afghanistan kills top policeman

A gunbattle erupted Monday inside a government complex in this key southern Afghan city, killing a top police official and seriously wounding a provincial police chief, an official said.
The shooting started after Afghan and U.S. Special Forces moved into the heavily protected complex in Kandahar and ordered employees to stay indoors, saying a suicide bomber was in the area, said Mohammad Khan, an employee in the attorney general's office nearby.
The gunbattle involved the U.S. and Afghan security team and police officials, but it was not immediately clear who was shooting at whom and why.
"We were inside sitting when a big police convoy came, and after that the fighting happened. I do not know how and why," Khan said.
Ahmad Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai and a top official in Kandahar, said initial information indicated several people died in the attack, but those details had not yet been confirmed.
U.S. military officials did not answer phone calls seeking comment. Police blocked access to the site.
A police official said the provincial head of the criminal investigations department, Abdul Khaliq Hamdard, was killed. The official spoke on condition of anonymity since he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The provincial police chief, Matiullah Qati, and several other policemen were wounded, the officer said.
Kandahar is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban, an Islamic militia that ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s and was ousted during the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
The Taliban has made a comeback in the last three years, wreaking havoc in much of the country's south and east, including Kandahar, and forcing President Barack Obama's administration to pour thousands of troops into a war U.S. officials once said had been won.
Taliban militants have launched several sophisticated attacks in Kandahar over the last year. But gun fights between U.S. and Afghan troops have also happened several times in recent years.


Updated : 2021-02-28 11:50 GMT+08:00