Brother of Afghan president killed
Kabul, July 12, 2011
Ahmad Wali Karzai, a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan, was killed on Tuesday, apparently by one of his bodyguards, officials said.
"I confirm that Ahmad Wali was killed inside his house," said Zalmay Ayoubi, spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, where Ahmad Wali Karzai lived and was head of the provincial council.
Abdul Ghafar Sayedzada, head of the counter-terrorism department at the Interior Ministry, said that the killing was probably the work of someone from Ahmad Wali Karzai's inner circle.
"It appears Ahmad Wali Karzai has been killed by one of his bodyguard, and there was nobody from outside involved," he told Reuters. Ahmad Wali had survived at least one other assassination attempt in recent years.
A half brother of the president, Ahmad Wali was a critical power-broker who helped shore up his brother's influence in volatile southern Afghanistan.
He had also been accused of corruption and ties to Afghanistan's huge opium trade that helps fund the Taliban-led insurgency. Ahmad Wali Karzai had denied the accusations.
The United Nations said in a recent quarterly report that over half of all assassinations across Afghanistan since March were in Kandahar. - Reuters