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Afghan President Sacks Transport Minister For 'Suspicious Activities'

Former Afghan Transport Minister Hamidullah Qaderi

Former Afghan Transport Minister Hamidullah Qaderi

KABUL (Reuters) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has fired his transport minister for "negligence and for carrying out suspicious activities," the presidential palace has said.

Hamidullah Qaderi's removal comes amid growing complaints about endemic corruption in Karzai's government. Karzai has been leading Afghanistan since U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001.

The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting and Qaderi would face prosecution, the palace said in a statement, without elaborating on what the suspicious activities were. Qaderi could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Qaderi's removal comes less than a month after Karzai reshuffled some members of his cabinet, which involves former leaders of armed groups and some Western-educated technocrats.

Karzai's writ of power does not extend beyond major cities and he mostly relies on the West's help for the Afghan security forces, the budget, and consultations over some government appointments.

He faces an election next year and has hinted strongly he will run again.
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