Gen Raziq (C) was a powerful opponent of the Taliban. Photo: AFP
A top Afghan security commander, Kandahar police chief Gen Abdul Raziq, has been shot dead by a bodyguard.
Taliban militants claimed the attack after a high-level meeting inside the governor's compound, saying they had targeted Gen Raziq and top US commander Gen Scott Miller, who escaped.
The local intelligence head was also killed and the governor was critically injured. Three Americans were hurt.
The attack in the Kandahar city comes ahead of elections on Saturday.
In a statement, the Taliban referred to Gen Raziq as a "brutal police chief".
Initial reports say the attacker was killed.
Afghan and international security officials said Gen Raziq was shot in the back as he left the meeting and walked towards an area where the helicopter taking the US group back to Kabul was coming in to land.
"Provincial officials including the governor, the police chief and other officials were accompanying the foreign guests when the gunshots happened," said Jan Khakrezwal, head of the Kandahar provincial council.
There are reports that the local army commander also died. Unconfirmed reports from local officials suggest that Gen Miller appeared to have been saved by his body armour.
At least two hand grenade explosions were also reported.
Gen Miller paid tribute to Gen Raziq, saying he had "lost a great friend".
The BBC's Secunder Kermani in Kabul says Gen Raziq was a powerful opponent of the Taliban.