Half-Brother of Afghan President Karzai Assassinated

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 5:25 am (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials say the half-brother of President Hamid Karzai has been assassinated in southern Kandahar province.

A spokesman for the provincial governor said that Ahmad Wali Karzai was killed while inside his home on Tuesday. An Afghan Interior Ministry official told Reuters that Wali Karzai was likely killed by one of his bodyguards.

President Karzai confirmed the assassination of his younger brother at a press conference on Tuesday, saying that his death reflects the suffering of the Afghan people.

Wali Karzai served as the head of the provincial council and was one of the most powerful leaders in southern Afghanistan.

The provincial council chief was often the target of corruption allegations. In November, a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks suggested that Wali Karzai was “widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker.” The president's half-brother repeatedly denied the charges.

Wali Karzai survived at least two previous attempts on his life in recent years. In May 2009 insurgents attacked his motorcade, killing one of his bodyguards. Wali Karzai also escaped an earlier attack on his provincial council facilities in Kandahar.