Sunday, July 17, 2011

Adviser to Afghan President Karzai Shot and Killed

A senior adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai was shot and killed in his home in Kabul yesterday, less than a week after the assassination of Karzai’s half brother.
Militants last night stormed the Kabul home of Jan Mohammed Khan, a former governor of Uruzgan
province, killing him as well as parliamentary lawmaker Mohammed Hashem Watanwal, Kabul police spokesman Hashmatullah Stanekzai said by telephone. Afghan forces surrounded Khan’s home and “the attackers are still not dead,” he said.
The attack came five days after Karzai’s younger brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was shot at home by a bodyguard in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar province, underscoring the security challenges as the U.S. begins pulling its troops from Afghanistan. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in India later today for discussions that will include the Afghan withdrawal.
While a Taliban spokesman said the movement had secretly recruited the gunman who shot President Karzai’s brother, there was no immediate word on who might be behind Khan’s shooting. The Taliban in the past has claimed responsibility for attacks that it has been found later not to have conducted.
President Barack Obama last month said the U.S. will withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, where they are fighting the Taliban, before the end of this year and an additional 23,000 by September 2012. Other nations have announced their own troop reduction plans.
A suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden inside his turban at a Kandahar mosque on July 14, killing four people attending a memorial service for Ahmed Wali Karzai. At least 13 people were wounded.

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