Afghan attack won't change Kandahar security situation: Mattis

English and science lessons have been exchanged for recitations of the Koran

Local media said the participants were making their way to a helipad after the meeting when the shooting occurred.

Agha Lala Dastageri, Kandahar's deputy provincial governor, said powerful provincial police chief Abdul Raziq was among the dead, along with Kandahar Gov. Zalmay Wesa, who died of his wounds at a nearby hospital.

General Abdul Raziq once boasted he had survived "countless" Taliban attempts to kill him.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they had targeted both Miller and Razeq, who had a fearsome reputation as a ruthless opponent of the insurgents.

Three Americans, including a soldier, civilian and contractor, were wounded in the cross-fire and had been evacuated from the scene.

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At least 12 people were wounded, including 3 Americans and a provincial governor, in the Taliban-claimed attack that comes two days before Afghanistan's long-delayed parliamentary elections.

"General Miller in uninjured", Butler added.

"We had served together for many years".

Mr. Mattis, who had known General Abdul Razeq, the police commander in southern Kandahar, on Friday described his death as "the loss of a patriot". "The good he did for Afghanistan and the Afghan people can not be undone".

Afghan officials and the Czech military say the attack took place late Wednesday in the district of Bagram in Parwan province.

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The Security Council's statement issued late Thursday from United Nations headquarters said the members underscored the importance of security for elections and that violence or threats meant to disrupt the elections were unacceptable.

He also said that India stands together with the Afghan people and government in fighting terrorism. Seen as a close USA ally and a fervent enemy of the Taliban, Raziq was also deeply controversial.

While Gen Raziq, 40, was the provincial police commander of Kandahar, his influence went beyond his native province.

Raziq was a hugely controversial figure, dogged by accusations of serious human rights abuses. In 2017, the UN Committee Against Torture recommended that Raziq be prosecuted over allegations of torture and enforced disappearance. The committee called for Raziq and other Afghans involved in such practices be duly prosecuted and punished. He was also highly respected by USA officers who saw his ruthless methods as the most effective weapon against the Taliban. At the same time, he earned a reputation as a ferocious opponent of the Taliban and gained the respect of successive American and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military officials in Afghanistan. His death, analysts say, could change the political landscape.

Speaking to The Guardian, Graeme Smith, an analyst with the International Crisis Group, said "Raziq's rise as the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan brought with it a kind of grim dystopian security to Kandahar city..." "He was able to maintain the security presence of the Afghan government on the outskirts of the city and even in faraway areas".

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"We need to find who's done this", Mattis told reporters traveling with him in the southeast Asian city-state of Singapore.

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