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Former Afghan Commander Turned Election Observer Shot Dead


A former mujahedin commander from the days of the Soviet occupation has been shot dead outside his home in Afghanistan's eastern Logar Province.

Esmatullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, was returning home after a memorial service when he was killed on April 21.

He had been working as an election observer for presidential candidate Abdul Rassul Sayyaf.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the killing.

The body of Esmatullah, who was also called Malem Tor (Black Teacher), was taken away and has not been found.

RFE/RL correspondents in eastern Afghanistan say Esmatullah was known to have enemies in the region and had been linked to the death of the son of an influential man in the same area.

The son's body was never found.
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