The man who finally killed Karzai was someone he trusted with his life. Not only was Sardar Mohammed a close confidant, but he also worked as an informant for the CIA, according to relatives, Karzai’s friends and the Afghan intelligence agency.
Entries in Hamid Karzai (45)
Reuters raw footage of the scene of the attack
UPDATE 1400 GMT: Afghanistan's Pajhwok News puts the death total at three, with 15 injured. One of the dead are clerics Maulvi Hikmatullah Hikmat, the head of Kandahar Ulema Council.
The attacker entered the mosque hosting a prayer gathering for the slain brother of President Karzai and detonated explosives strapped to his body.
Interior Ministry spokesman Ghulam Siqiq Sidiqi had said four people were killed.
You are not supposed to be happy over a person’s death. But the business I am in does not allow for such conventional decencies, nor does the fact that I’m an Afghan.
I am not sure --- at least until the Arab revolutions of the last six months opened our eyes --- how many people knew of the monsters among us. One of these was Ahmad Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, shot to death this morning in Kandahar.
The number of contractors in Afghanistan is likely to increase significantly in the next year as the Obama administration pulls back some of the extra 68,000 troops that it has dispatched there since January 2009.
Typically, the U.S. pays one contractor to support every soldier that has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. The ratio of contractors to troops increases dramatically during a military surge as well as during a drawdown, and often stays higher than troop levels when military numbers are low, i.e. down to 30,000-50,000.
The reason is simple — the military needs extra workers to build new bases as well as to shut them down. Just like a hotel or restaurant, a military base also needs a minimum number of people to do the basics like janitorial or food service work. And as troops withdraw, U.S. diplomats are likely to hire extra security contractors as they are doing now in Iraq.
On Sunday, the departing US Ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, used a speech to students in the western Afghan city of Herat to rebuke President Hamid Karzai: ""When we hear ourselves being called occupiers and worse, our pride is offended and we begin to lose our inspiration to carry on."
Furious anti-American protesters poured into the streets of a city in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, shouting out objections to an overnight U.S.-led military raid that killed four people, including two women. Subsequent clashes with security forces trying to quell the demonstration killed 12 people, provincial officials said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a strongly worded statement condemning the raid on the outskirts of Taloqan, the capital of Takhar province, and dismissing NATO's contention that the four people killed in it were armed insurgents.
1820 GMT: Book Corner. Radio Zamaneh reports that all works of the prominent author Ali Ashraf Darvishian have been removed from the Tehran Book Fair.
1810 GMT: Parliament Watch. Back from a break to summarise latest developments in the tug-of-war between Parliament and the Government.
On Monday, the Majlis finally confirmed the 2011/12 Budget --- after a debate and delays of more than two months --- but the affirmation was far from resounding: only 144 votes of the 290 MPs voted for the package. There were 29 votes against, 12 abstentions, 23 "presents", and 82 absences.
Now a new battle is brewing: MPs, including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, are claiming that the Government may be breaking the law in its plans for the merger of nine Ministries. On Monday, Parliament had warned that former Ministers could not continue to serve in the new Ministries.
The real question now is whether the US and its allies will understand how deeply involved Tehran and Islamabad are in rejuvenating a dying insurgency in Afghanistan and turning it into a formidable force.
Pakistan is lobbying Afghanistan's president against building a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S., urging him instead to look to Pakistan --- and its Chinese ally --- for help in striking a peace deal with the Taliban and rebuilding the economy, Afghan officials say.
The pitch was made at an April 16 meeting in Kabul by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who bluntly told Afghan President Hamid Karzai that the Americans had failed them both, according to Afghans familiar with the meeting. Mr. Karzai should forget about allowing a long-term U.S. military presence in his country, Mr. Gilani said, according to the Afghans. Pakistan's bid to cut the U.S. out of Afghanistan's future is the clearest sign to date that, as the nearly 10-year war's endgame begins, tensions between Washington and Islamabad threaten to scuttle America's prospects of ending the conflict on its own terms.
1525 GMT: Back to the Regime Party. Iranian media have released pictures of regional Presidents being treated by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Nowruz festivities. Not sure it's a 100% success, however --- Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai appears to be sleeping through the entertainment.
Better news for Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov --- Ahmadinejad gave him a two-seater LSA airplane worth $130,000.
Last week, Berdimuhammadov sent a thousand tons of flour to Iran for Nowruz.