Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq Achakzai, commonly known as Gen. Raziq, was gunned down in an attack on Thursday afternoon at the Kandahar governor’s compound.
At only 39, Raziq had made his mark across the country and was seen as a giant presence in the south. He was a fierce patriot and was committed to stamping out terrorism.
Born in 1979 in Kandahar province, he was raised in Spin Boldak district. Raziq had married twice and lived with his family in Kandahar city.
Raziq’s first taste of the military was in the 1980s when one of his fellow tribesmen, Esmat, a former military officer who had been trained by the Russians, became a Mujahedeen commander and organized a force drawn mainly from his tribe. Raziq’s uncle Mansour became one of his principal lieutenants.
Raziq’s father, and his uncle, were killed in 1994 by the Taliban. His family, along with many Achakzai tribal leaders, fled to Pakistan - until the US-led invasion ousted the then rulers of the country – the Taliban.
In November 2001 Raziq joined Achakzai anti-Taliban forces, under Fayda Mohammad and Gul Agha Sherzai, which overthrew the Taliban in Kandahar.
Over the past 17 years, Raziq has risen in the ranks of the security forces and first rose to command the Afghanistan Border Police on the border between Kandahar and the Pakistan's Baluchistan Province.
Raziq was fiercely anti-Taliban and many have claimed he was, to a degree, a creation of the American military intervention in Afghanistan.
He took over as police chief in 2011 after his predecessor, Khan Mahammad Mojayed, was killed in a suicide bombing in April of that year.
Many Assassination Attempts
Raziq survived many attacks against him over the past few years and in an interview with TOLOnews last year he said he had survived about 29 such incidents.
Among those included a January 2012 attempt when a suicide bomber entered the police headquarters but reportedly detonated his explosives prematurely. The attacker made his way into the police building by posing as a member of the public with a complaint.
In August 2012 Raziq had been traveling in a convoy of vehicles when a car bomb exploded, killing four civilians and wounding 24.
Raziq was wounded in this attempt on his life.
In September 2012 a would-be suicide bomber was arrested before he could get to Raziq. This happened just four days after Raziq returned home from abroad after receiving treatment following the previous month’s attack.
Numerous such attempts have been made against him over the years including one high-profile incident in January last year.
Raziq was at a meeting that included UAE diplomats when explosives were detonated.
Raziq at the time blamed Haqqani Network and ISI of plotting the deadly attack that killed 11 people, including five UAE diplomats.
Speaking at a press conference the following day, Raziq said that an intelligence report received two months earlier showed that Haqqani network wanted to target the military leadership of province.
“We had our preparations in place but despite this the insurgents were able to place the explosives inside the sofas in the governor's guest house,” Raziq said.
Eleven people were killed and 13 others were injured in the incident.
Raziq had been what many considered the most important power broker in southern Afghanistan, particularly in Kandahar - the Taliban’s birthplace.
But he was killed on Thursday when one of the governor’s bodyguards allegedly opened fire on high-ranking officials after a meeting at the governor’s compound.
Among those attending were Resolute Support commander Gen. Austin Scott Miller, Raziq, the governor of Kandahar and other security officials.