Karzai’s brother escapes attack in Afghanistan

May 18th, 2009 - 4:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, May 18 (DPA) A younger brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped unharmed after an attack on his convoy in eastern Afghanistan Monday, but one of his bodyguards was killed in the ambush.
Ahmadi Wali Karzai, who is head of the provincial council of southern Kandahar province, said that he was returning from eastern Nangarhar province when his convoy came under rocket and machine gun fire in Sorobi district on the Kabul-Jalalabad highway.

“My bodyguards’ car was hit and one of them, a 22 year-old-boy, was killed,” he told DPA.

Karzai said that he along with other tribal elders from Kandahar province had gone to Jalalabad city to meet Gul Agha Sherzai, the provincial governor, who is also from Kandahar.

It was unclear who was behind Monday’s attack and Karzai refused to blame any group. Taliban militants and fighters from Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hezbi Islami, an associate group of the Taliban, are active in the eastern region of the country.

Last month, five suicide bombers attacked an office compound in Kandahar city minutes after Wali Karzai had left, killing at least a dozen people including government officials. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Wali Karzai has been accused by some Western media of involvement in the country’s drug business. Both President Karzai and Wali Karzai have strongly denied the allegations and demanded evidence.

In a separate incident, Afghan army soldiers opened fire on shopkeepers in Jalalabad city Monday morning, killing three and wounding another, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The three shooters were apprehended by other army soldiers and were under interrogation, the statement said, adding that the ministry was determined to punish the attackers in order to set an example for other army personnel.

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