General Abdul Razzaq Shah.
Two Taliban suicide bombers struck inside police headquarters in southern Afghanistan for the second day straight. The target of the attack was a senior police general.
The bombers penetrated security at the police headquarters in an effort to assassinate General Abdul Razzaq Shah, the chief of border police in the district of Spin Boldak in southern Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.
The bombers split up and searched both floors of the two story building in an effort to find Razzaq, but were stopped by policemen and detonated their vests. Six policemen were killed in the attack and 37 were wounded. Sixteen of those wounded were in serious condition, reported. Razzaq was among those wounded.
Razzaq played a big role in 2006 Operation Medusa and has a penchant for gunning down rival Noorzai tribal elders, many of whom support the Taliban. The Afghan government pulled him from Spin Boldak and sent him into the western Panjwai and Zhari districts in Kandahar to fight the Taliban during Operation Medusa.
The Taliban took credit for today’s attack in Kandahar. Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi said his group was behind the attack, and Razzaq has been a target for some time.
Spin Boldak sits across the border from the city of Chaman in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. This crossing is one of the two major border checkpoints between Pakistan and Afghanistan. More than 35,000 people move through the Friend Gate at Chaman and into Spin Boldak everyday.
The attack occurred just one day after a similar strike against a senior intelligence officer in the western province of Nimroz. A Taliban suicide bomber breached the security at a government building and killed Anwar Shah Khan, the provincial intelligence chief, and his 20-year old son.
The two attacks may signal the onset of a Taliban assassination campaign against senior military and police officials in southern Afghanistan. In both attacks, Taliban bombers clearly had inside intelligence on how to penetrate police headquarters and locate senior officials.
Matt Dupee contributed to this report.