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Afghan President In Volatile South To Bury Slain Brother


Afghan President Hamid Karzai at a July 12 news conference with his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, after Karzai's brother was shot dead earlier the same day in Kandahar
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has led thousands of mourners under heavy security in southern Afghanistan to the funeral of his younger half-brother, who was assassinated on July 12.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was shot dead by a trusted family security guard at his home in Kandahar city.

He had long been accused of amassing a fortune from the drugs trade, intimidating rivals, and having links to the CIA, all charges that he strongly denied.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was one of the militant movement's "greatest achievements."

In the United States, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration sent its condolences to Karzai's family.

The State Department also condemned the murder, with department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland saying that "violence is never the answer for getting to democratic progress that we all seek."

"And as you probably know," Nuland added, "the U.S. has worked with Governor Karzai as we work with governors around the country to try to make common cause to end corruption, to eradicate the drug trade, etc."

General David Petraeus, the outgoing top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the country would support the government “in every possible way to bring justice to those involved.”

compiled from Reuters reports