Afghan president’s half-brother killed by bodyguard

7:38 PM, Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
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Ahmad-Wali-KarzaiKabul : Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother was Tuesday assassinated by a bodyguard at his home in Kandahar with the Taliban promptly claiming responsibility for it. 

“My brother Ahmad Wali Karzai was killed today (Tuesday),” said the Afghan president.
“The Afghan people have suffered a lot. Every Afghan family has suffered. I hope one day these sufferings end,” CNN quoted Hamid Karzai as saying.

The Kandahar provincial council chief was shot dead at a gathering at his residence and the killing is expected to give a jolt to NATO’s effort.

Ahmad Wali Karzai, born in 1961, suffered bullet wounds to his head and chest, said Kandahar Hospital chief Mohammad Dawood Farhad.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, reported Xinhua.

Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said one of Ahmad Wali Karzai’s bodyguards who worked for Taliban gunned down the president’s brother. The attacker was Ahmed Wali Karzai’s head of security Sardar Mohammed who was immediately killed.

Though the motive was not clear, the murder is bound to raise questions about the safety of the country’s top officials.

Security was further tightened in Kandahar following the shooting.

“Despite our worries about Ahmad Wali Karzai, he was someone the US could work with and he kept a lid on things in Kandahar,” a US official told BBC.

This was not the first time that an attempt was made on the life of Ahmad Wali Karzai.
In 2009, he survived a rocket and machine gun attack while travelling in a convoy towards Kabul.

Considered by many to be a warlord, Ahmad Wali Karzai had the staunch support of his elder brother Hamid Karzai.

The assassination took place amid US President Barack Obama’s announced plans to withdraw 10,000 American troops from Afghanistan this year.

The US soldiers will begin returning to US in line with the deadline set by Obama in December 2009, when he authorised a surge of 33,000 US troops to break the Taliban’s control in Afghanistan. 

                       

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