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Afghan president’s brother assassinated

Ahmad Wali Karzai has reportedly been killed by his bodyguard.

Ahmed Wali Karzai with his brother Hamid Karzai in Kandahar province in October last year.
Ahmed Wali Karzai with his brother Hamid Karzai in Kandahar province in October last year.
Image: Allauddin Khan/AP/Press Association Images

PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI’S half brother has been shot dead in the south of the country. Ahmed Wali Karzai has reportedly been killed by his bodyguard.

He was the head of the Kandahar provincial council but had become a political liability for the Karzai government after a series of allegations, including that he was on the CIA payroll and involved in drug trafficking.

He denied the charges, and the president repeatedly defended him, denouncing accusations that his brother was involved in criminal activities in the restive south.

Ahmed Wali Karzai’s death was confirmed by Zalmai Ayubi, the spokesman for Kandahar province, and Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior. A member of Karzai’s private security team killed him with an AK-47, according to a person who witnessed the killing. The individual declined to be identified.

Rangina Hamidi, a resident of Kandahar and daughter of the city’s mayor, said Ahmed Wali Karzai is survived by five children — two sons and three daughters. She says his youngest son was born about a month ago.

Ahmed Wali Karzai has been the reported target of multiple assassination attempts.

In May 2009, his motorcade was ambushed by insurgents firing rockets and machine guns in eastern Nangarhar province. One of his bodyguards was killed, but he was not harmed.

That attack came less than two months after four Taliban suicide bombers stormed Kandahar’s provincial council office, killing 13 people in an assault that Ahmed Wali Karzai said was aimed at him.

A Taliban spokesman said the attack targeted the general compound. The president’s half brother had left the building a few minutes before that attack.

- AP

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