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President Karzai's Brother Shot Dead

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President Karzai's Brother Shot Dead

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President Karzai's Brother Shot Dead

President Karzai's Brother Shot Dead

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One of the most powerful figures in the Afghan government has been assassinated. Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of the president, was shot dead, apparently by one of his own security men in the southern city of Kandahar where he headed the provincial council.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

Afghanistan is bracing for the repercussions of an assassination today. Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president's half-brother, was shot to death this morning. He was the head of Kandahar's provincial council, and he was widely acknowledged as the most powerful man in that province. He had a hand in security, reconstruction and allegedly Kandahar's massive opium trade, as NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.

QUIL LAWRENCE: President Karzai repeatedly defended his brother, claiming there was no solid evidence of corruption. Ahmed Wali Karzai himself denied any wrongdoing in repeated interviews, like this one with NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

AHMED WALI KARZAI: And if anyone has any evidence of corruption or whatever you call it, please they should bring it over.

LAWRENCE: Today, President Karzai had scheduled a joint press conference with visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy, which he went through with despite just having heard the news.

HAMID KARZAI: (Speaking foreign language).

LAWRENCE: Quil Lawrence, NPR News, Kabul.

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