Karzai Advisor Killed in Afghanistan

Advisor assassinated by two gunmen on behalf of the Taliban

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Less than a week since the killing of the president's brother, a close advisor to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai was killed Sunday evening when two gunmen strapped with explosives stormed his home, The New York Times' Jack Healy and Abdul Waheed Wafa report. Two men entered the house and killed Jan Mohammed Kahn (right), a former governor of the Oruzgan province, and "a regular presence at the presidential palace." Mohammed Hasham Watanwal, a member of Parliament in Oruzgan, was also killed during the attack.

One of the gunmen was killed when, "Afghan police officers, soldiers and intelligence officers swarmed Mr. Khan’s neighborhood in western Kabul, where government officials and businessmen live behind high walls and steel gates, protected by many men with many guns." The second gunman, as of press time, has been holed up on the second floor of Kahn's house for three hours in a firefight with Afghan police.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack through an official spokesman. They also claimed Tuesday's killing of President Karzai's half brother. The Times explained the Taliban's complicated past relationship with Kahn during his days as a governor from 2002 to 2006.

Mr. Khan was imprisoned during the Taliban’s rule and was seen as an eager and bitter foe of the insurgents. He worked with the NATO-led coalition during his time as governor, but was dogged by accusations of corruption and the failure to provide basic public services.

The Guardian spoke to the Taliban and offered their explanation behind the attack.

Mujahid said the Taliban killed Khan because he was assisting coalition forces in carrying out night raids against Afghans. The controversial raids carried out by Nato forces have been highly effective in capturing or killing Taliban fighters and mid-level commanders.
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