Provincial police chief killed in Afghan ‘insider attack’
An Afghan provincial police chief was gunned down in a suspected insider attack just a month after his influential predecessor was assassinated, officials said Sunday, following the launch of the Taliban’s spring offensive.
Gulab Khan was killed apparently by a fellow policeman while he was inspecting a security check post late Saturday in the southern province of Uruzgan.
“Gulab Khan and one of his friends were killed in the provincial capital Trin Kot,” Dost Mohammad Nayab, a spokesman for Uruzgan’s governor, told AFP.
“They were shot at close range. The police have launched an investigation and arrested his bodyguard.”
Gul Agha, a senior police official in Trin Kot, confirmed the incident.
Khan was recently promoted to the post of acting police chief of Uruzgan after serving as the deputy chief for 12 years.
His appointment came after a burqa-clad suicide bomber last month killed the province’s high-profile head of police, Matiullah Khan, who worked closely with NATO troops during their combat mission.
The Taliban, who were ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion, claimed responsibility for Matiullah’s death but no group has so far commented on his successor’s killing.
The Taliban officially launched their annual spring offensive on Friday, vowing attacks targeting foreign and Afghan officials in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade as NATO forces pull back from the frontlines.
This year’s offensive marks the first fighting season in which Afghan forces will battle the insurgents without the full support of US-led foreign combat troops.
NATO’s combat mission formally ended in December but a small follow-up foreign force has stayed on to train and support local security personnel