July 29, 2014 4:24 am

Afghan official says cousin of President Karzai assassinated

In this photograph taken on 21 February 2013, the cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Hashmat Karzai, speaks during a press conference in Kanadahar. A suicide attacker killed a cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai near the volatile southern city of Kandahar, officials said, raising tensions during a struggle over the contested election result.

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KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan official says a suicide bomber, his explosives hidden inside his turban, has assassinated the cousin of President Hamid Karzai.

Dawa Khan Minapal, the spokesman for the governor of southern Kandahar province, says the attack took place on Tuesday morning in Karz district.

Minapal says the bomber walked up to greet Ashmat Khlil Karzai, a political figure in his own right who has backed former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s bid to succeed President Karzai.

The bomber shook hands with Ashmat Karzai after prayers outside the Karzai family home, then detonated his explosives.

This is not the first time that President Karzai’s family members have been targeted. His brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, was slain in his home in the city of Kandahar by an unknown attacker seven years ago.

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