Afghan President Karzais half-brother assassinated
Taliban claims responsibility for Ahmad Wali Karzais death
July 12, 2011 11:29 am EDT
Unrest, Conflicts And War, Act Of Terror, Crime, Law And Justice, Crime, Homicide
Controversial Afghan politician Ahmad Wali Karzai, the half-brother of President Hamid Karzai, has been shot dead by his security chief in Kandahar, prompting critics to raise questions about the security of top officials in the country.
Security Chief Sardar Mohammed reportedly killed himself immediately after his boss’ assassination. His motive remains unclear.
Kandahar police chief Abdul Razeq told reporters that Mohammed had come to Karzai's home early Tuesday on the pretext of showing some documents to his boss. "The man carried his pistol through the security checks to Wali Karzai's room. As soon as Wali Karzai came out of the bathroom, he opened fire and shot him in the head and chest," Razeq said.
Karzai was taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead moments later.
Criticizing the attack, the Afghan president said that his brother’s assassination demonstrated the suffering of common people. "This is the way of life for the people of Afghanistan," said Karzai. "The homes of all Afghans feel this pain. Our hope is this will come to an end, and peace and happiness will come to our homes and will come to rule in our country," he added.
The Taliban claimed the responsibility for the attack, describing it as one of their biggest achievements in the last 10 years. However, Kandahar politician Khaled Pashtun expressed skepticism over the claims, insisting that similar Taliban claims in the past don’t show much of their involvement.
The president's half brother had openly supported keeping foreign troops in the country, in opposition to his brother’s views, after declaring that the war against the Taliban was being won in Kandahar. Despite these differences, President Karzai maintained political influence in the restive south through Ahmad, often called Mr. Kandahar for his ability to resolve every problem that came to him. His assassination could now create problems in the region for the president.
Ahmad’s critics, including NATO officials, often accused him of his involvement in drug deals and corruption – a charge he vehemently denied and openly challenged everyone to prove them. However, his supporters considered him a defender of Pashtun rights.
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