A suicide bomber assassinated the top police official in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz today.
The suicide bomber attacked General Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili, the provincial chief of police, in a bazaar in Kunduz City, a government spokesman told TOLOnews. Four of Sayedkhili’s bodyguards were also killed in the blast.
Sayedkhili was a controversial police commander in the north. As a former leader in the Northern Alliance, he was disliked by the Pashtun minority in the north, which make up the nucleus of the Taliban in Kunduz.
He had also made controversial statements on the success of security forces in Kunduz. On Jan. 31, he declared Kunduz to be “cleared” of the Taliban, despite the fact that large areas of the province were under Taliban control.
While no terror group has taken credit for the attack, the Taliban or the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan likely carried out the strike. Both groups operate jointly in Kunduz, and carry out suicide operations against the government, civilians, and security forces.
Sayedkhili is the second senior Afghan leader in Kunduz assassinated within the past six months. In October, a Taliban suicide bomber killed Governor Muhammad Omar as he worshiped in a mosque in neighboring Takhar province. Omar had been vocal in his opposition to the Taliban, and had consistently warned of the spread of the Taliban and allied terror groups in the Afghan north.