KANDAHAR, Afghanistan-One of Afghanistan’s most powerful figures, a half-brother of President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed at his home on Tuesday.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the so-called “King of Kandahar,” was gunned down by one of his own body guards, according to multiple reports.
“I confirm that Ahmed Wali was killed inside his house,” a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, where Karzai lived and was head of the provincial council, told the Reuters news agency.
Ahmed Wali Karzai has been a controversial figure in Afghan politics since the U.S. invasion of the country in 2001, if not longer. He was allegedly on the CIA payroll even as accusations ran rampant that he was one of the facilitators – and likely benefactors – of Kandahar’s booming opium trade.
At a meeting of elders in his province last summer, Ahmed Karzai took a seat of honor, but he was accused of amassing his power through dishonorable means, including under-the-table deals with tribal warlords and Taliban fighters.