US, UN condemn Afghan terror attack

US, UN condemn Afghan terror attack

An Afghan policeman stands guard at a checkpoint ahead of parliamentary elections in Kabul, Afghanistan October 18, 2018. (Reuters Photo)

The US and the UN have condemned the terrorist attack on a high-level security meeting in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province in which three people, including a top Afghan police chief, were killed.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. In a Twitter post, the Taliban said NATO commander Gen Scott Miller and Kandahar provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq, who was killed, were the targets of the attack.

Miller escaped unhurt in the attack in which at least three people were killed and nearly 12 people were injured.

"The United States condemns the attack directed today on Afghan provincial leadership in Kandahar," sad US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a late-night statement, he extended his sympathies and condolences to the families of General Raziq and the other senior Afghan officials who were killed in the attack.

"We also extend hope for the speedy recovery of all those injured in the attack, including two Americans and one Coalition member who were present at the time," he said on Thursday.

Pompeo said the US was resolved to continue its support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they work to provide security for all Afghan citizens, including for the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 20.

Afghanistan has witnessed a spate of terror attacks ahead of the parliamentary elections.

"Recent attacks against parliamentary candidates in the final days of campaigning in Afghanistan stand in stark contrast to the aspirations of the Afghan people for peace, security, and economic stability. The right and desire of the Afghan people for their votes to be counted must be respected," Pompeo said.

At the United Nations headquarters in New York, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all political leaders to work together to ensure full respect for the electoral process, in which every voter, particularly women and minority groups, will be able to cast their ballot.

"As Afghanistan prepares for parliamentary elections on 20 October, the Secretary-General encourages all eligible Afghan voters to exercise their right to vote and contribute to the development of sustainable democratic institutions and creating conditions conducive for a more stable and peaceful Afghanistan," a statement said.

Against the backdrop of existing security challenges, the UN Secretary-General encourages relevant authorities and all political stakeholders to take the necessary measures to do their utmost to prevent any forms of electoral violence, it said.

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