12 Jul 2011

Afghan president's brother assassinated

8:40 pm on 12 July 2011

The half-brother of Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai has been assassinated in the south of the country.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was a powerful politician who led the Kandahar Provincial Council and had close links to the United States, the BBC reports.

Mr Karzai's half-brother was shot and killed by his bodyguard early on Thursday morning, according to his spokesperson and local sources.

He was seen as a key power broker in the south of the country and in the critical province of Kandahar and a staunch ally of US and international forces in the area, the BBC reports.

It is not known if insurgents were involved in the attack.

Mr Karzai was a controversial figure who had survived a number of previous assassination attempts. He had also been accused of drug trafficking and corruption.