Last week, General Abdul Raziq of Afghanistan, 39, along with the Intelligence Chief and Governor of Kandahar City were fatally shot in Afghanistan by one of their bodyguards after leaving a meeting.
The gunman barely missed American Commander General Austin S. Miller, but wounded three Americans. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which happened just two days before the national parliament elections.
Over the years Raziq had survived upwards of 29 attempts against his life, including the fatal 2017 attack on five United Arab Emirates diplomats and seven others who were visiting Kandahar.
Raziq was praised by U.S. officials for his patriotism and tough stance on the Taliban, effectively responsible for securing the city from complete Taliban control. The General had been criticized by human rights advocates for his alleged instruction to use torture and purposefully mistreat prisoners who were accused of having ties to the Taliban, accusations he denied.
Elections in the province are delayed for a week due to the request of the local community, according to a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani. Elections in the rest of the region were held on Saturday, with over 70,000 police and military forces deployed for security.
In April, a suicide bomber posed as a journalist detonated explosives among a group of media workers who had rushed to cover the scene of an earlier explosion in Kabul. ISIS took credit for the attacks, which killed 30 civilians including nine journalists. The attack took place in a heavily-secured area of the city, which houses the headquarters for NATO and the U.S. Embassy. It came just nine days after a suicide bomber targeted an election facility in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding dozens.
A 2017 Survey of the Afghan People revealed that Afghans are more hesitant about their futures and security than in previous years. But despite the increased security concerns, when the survey asked women to name the greatest challenges they face in their area, 38 percent voiced concern regarding illiteracy and access to education. Following education, women’s primary concerns are economic problems and domestic violence.
Media Resources: The New York Times 10/18/18; Feminist Majority Foundation 10/10/18, Aljazeera 1/11/17, 10/18/18, 10/19/18