Kandahar Mayor Assassinated

Taliban claims responsibility, says it was over demolition dispute
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 27, 2011 8:49 AM CDT
A view of the damaged windows of the mayor's office in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.   (Allauddin Khan)
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(Newser) – A suicide bomber hiding explosives in his turban assassinated the mayor of Kandahar today, just two weeks after President Hamid Karzai's powerful half brother was slain in the southern province that is critical to the US-led war effort. Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi, 65, was the third powerbroker from southern Afghanistan to be killed in just over two weeks. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for all three attacks, though that hasn't been confirmed.

A Taliban spokesman told the AP that they killed the Kandahar mayor to avenge the deaths of two children killed amidst demolition work the mayor had ordered on homes city officials claimed had been illegally constructed. Kandahar's governor says the two children were accidentally killed by a bulldozer knocking down the homes. Hamidi was a tough-on-crime, tough-on-terrorists leader with many enemies, his son-in-law says. "I don't know who did this. ... It is up to the police to investigate, but we don't really have police that can do a good investigation."

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