President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother assassinated

(BBC)   The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai has been killed in an assassination attempt, officials say.

Ahmad Wali Karzai, the younger half-brother of the Afghan president and leader of the Kandahar Provincial Council, was shot dead, presidential spokesmen Waheed Omar told the BBC.

Initial reports suggest he was shot by his bodyguard in his house in Kandahar.

A controversial politician, some saw him as a defender of Pashtun rights.

Critics said he was a warlord mired in corruption who was openly involved in the drugs trade and had a personal militia at his disposal.

The president repeatedly defended him, denouncing accusations that his brother was involved in criminal activities.

He was a staunch ally of US and allied forces in Afghanistan.

The body of Ahmad Wali Karzai, who was born in 1961, has been taken to a nearby hospital, says the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Kabul.

International forces in Afghanistan have expressed shock at the killing. There has been no word yet from the Afghan president himself.

Ahmad Wali Karzai had survived attempts on his life before, most recently in 2009.

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