Secretary Mattis: Too early to tell how attack will affect Afghanistan’s election

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:31 AM PT — Fri. Oct. 19, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis hailed Afghanistan’s police commissioner as a “patriot” after he was gunned down outside the local governor’s office.

Mattis told reporters early Friday that it’s too soon to know how the attack will affect voter turnout in Saturday’s elections.

Afghan policemen stand guard at a checkpoint a day before parliamentary elections in Kabul, Afghanistan October 19, 2018. (Photo/REUTERS/Omar Sobhani)

He added, the U.S. will continue to hunt down those behind Thursday’s assassination of Afghan General Abdul Razeq. The police commissioner had just left a meeting with the top U.S. military commander in the country when the shooting took place.

While the Taliban has taken responsibility for the attack as a way to disrupt the elections, the U.S. is still investigating those claims.

“It’s the loss of a patriot, but we remain absolutely committed to an Afghan led Afghan reconciliation,” said Mattis. “We need to find who’s done this, but right now we are going toward the election and we will continue to defend the Afghan people.”

The defense secretary said the attack will not change the United States’s mission in the country to negotiate an agreement between the Afghan government and Taliban forces.