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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN-The powerful brother of Afghanistan's president, Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot down in the Karzai Compound, the most heavily guarded compound in all of Kandahar. Located in the center of Kandahar, the compound has high concrete barriers and several layers of guards and checkpoints.
The threat did not come from the outside however, instead it came from well within the Karzai circle. The assassin, identified as Mohammed Sardar, was the compound’s company commander in charge of the Karzai’s security. The Taliban claims responsibility for the slaying, saying that Sardar has long been a sleeper agent for the group.
The incident happened during the receiving of guests at the compound. Karzai and Sardar had just exited the meeting room and entered an adjoining room when shots rang out. Spokesmen for the Taliban state that the killing was aimed at Hamid Karzai’s “Puppet Regime.”
Ahmed Wali Karzai was the head of Kandahar’s provincial council, but his power extended much further than that. The mafia-like figure was embedded deeply in corruption in Afghanistan. Deeply mired in the drug trade in the country, he was long a thorn in the side of the Western security forces there. American officials have long tried to remove him from his official posts but Ahmed was defended by his brother Hamid, the president of the war-torn nation.
The news of the death of Karzai spread like wildfire through the streets of the province. He welded life or death power over many people in that area, many knew of his temper, and feared his wrath and expressed relief at news of his death.
Hamid Karzai confirmed his brother’s death and stated that he had been “martyred” in his home.
A carefully worded statement by American Officials condemned the killing and offered sympathies to the family and Afghan president. U.S. General David H. Petraeus said that NATO forces would do all it could do to bring those involved to justice.
A Kandahar shopkeeper named only Assadullah, stated, “He was a bad character, he was more powerful than the police, the governor, than anyone.”