Afghan President’s Brother Assassinated

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON July 13th, 2011

Ahmed Wali KarzaiAccording to Aljazeera, Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother to the Afghan president and one of the most powerful men in the country, has been killed in Kandahar city by a close associate, according to government officials and a member of his security team.

The head of the Kandahar provincial council, Wali Karzai, was shot dead on Tuesday morning inside his house by Sardar Mohammad, a “dear” friend who regularly visited him, according to the security source and a member of the provincial council.

A Taliban spokesman told that they were behind the killing and had assigned Mohammad to carry it out a “long time” ago.

But Afghan analysts say the Taliban often claims credit for acts it may not have organised, and according to officials, Mohammad had been close to Wali Karzai for many years.

Mohammad shot Wali Karzai in the stomach and chest as he emerged from a bathroom and was then shot and killed by other bodyguards, the security source said.

Hamid Karzai, the president, betrayed little emotion as he attended a scheduled press conference on Tuesday afternoon with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He confirmed his brother’s death.

“My younger brother was martyred in his house today. This is the life of all Afghan people, I hope these miseries which every Afghan family faces will one day end,” Karzai said.

Mohammad was the commander of checkpoints in the Zakir Sharif area, where the Karzai family’s paternal hometown of Karz is located, around five kilometres south of Kandahar, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

Mohammad was about 35 years old, had 150 people under his command and was “totally illiterate,” spokesman Zalmay Ayoubi said.

Some analysts speculated that the killing may have been the result of a personal dispute between the two men.

But Haji Ehsan, a member of the provincial council, said Mohammad was “very dear” to Wali Karzai and became a commander on his recommendation.

“This morning, they had spoken on the phone before [Mohammad] went to visit him,”

Ehsan said.

“This can’t be a personal feud. They were too close. This is definitely a conspiracy against Ahmed Wali, it is difficult to say at this point by who.”