The Taliban was behind a deadly shooting took place in Kandahar, Afghanistan during a NATO meeting on Thursday, and a Taliban spokesperson told the Associated Press that the intended target was U.S. Gen. Scott Miller.
Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the group was responsible for the attack, which was intended to target General Miller, Commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.
“Actually we planned this attack to kill [the] U.S. military commander and his team members,” Ahmadi told NBC News.
Miller had just concluded a meeting with Gen. Abdul Razeq, Commander of Police in Kandahar, before the shots rang out. Razeq was shot in the back and killed, but Miller escaped without injury.
BREAKING: Top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, escapes injury during shooting incident Thursday but police commander of Kandahar, Gen. Abdul Razeq, has been killed, and two other American citizens have been wounded https://t.co/8I58cXFKPg – @NBCNewsWorld
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 18, 2018
Officials were conducting a high-level security meeting at the compound of the Kandahar governor ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday.
Said Jan Khakrezwal, the head of the Kandahar provincial council, said, “Provincial officials including the governor, the police chief and other officials were accompanying the foreign guests to the plane when the gunshots happened.”
Afghan officials confirmed to the Associated Press that a total of three local officials were killed in the attack.
In addition to Razeq, Governor of Kandahar Zalmay Wesa was killed, along with local intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin.
BREAKING: Parliamentarian Khalid Pashtun says Kandahar police chief, governor and intelligence chief killed in attack by guards.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 18, 2018
Col. Dave Butler, spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan three Americans were wounded in the incident.
“Update on the Kandahar palace today. This was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident. Three Americans were wounded, have been medically evacuated and are stable. General Miller is uninjured. We are being told the area is secure. The attacker is dead. Send queries to our press desk,” he said.
Update on the Kandahar palace today. This was an Afghan-on-Afghan incident. Three Americans were wounded, have been medically evacuated and are stable.
General Miller is uninjured. We are being told the area is secure. The attacker is dead. Send queries to our press desk.
— USFOR-A Spokesman, Col Dave Butler (@USFOR_A) October 18, 2018
Initial reports said two U.S. citizens were also injured in the attack — a least one of them is said to be a military member, while the other may be a civilian.
U.S. Col. Knut Peters, spokesman for NATO troops in Afghanistan, confirmed that the two wounded U.S. troops had been evacuated for medical treatment, according to The Washington Post.
A statement by NATO Resolute Support mission said, “At Kandahar palace today: Afghan-on-Afghan incident, as initial reports indicate. 2 Americans wounded. Gen. Miller uninjured, attacker reportedly dead.”
At Kandahar palace today: Afghan-on-Afghan incident, as initial reports indicate. 2 Americans wounded. Gen. Miller uninjured, attacker reportedly dead.
— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) October 18, 2018
Peters also said the shooter, an Afghan soldier, has been killed. Reports indicate that the shooter was a member of the governor’s personal security detail.
This story has been updated with the most up-to-date information and current events available.