Sobbing Karzai Climbs Into Brother's Grave

Afghan president calls on Taliban to end violence
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2011 9:54 AM CDT
Weeping Hamid Karzai Climbs Into Half-Brother Ahmad Wali Karzai's Grave
Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the burial of his half brother in his family's ancestral village of Karz, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2011. WARNING: Disturbing images follow.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – At Ahmad Wali Karzai's funeral today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai pushed through his security detail to climb into his half-brother's grave. He remained there, sobbing alongside the coffin, for at least a minute as his wails overwhelmed other cries. He was ultimately lifted out by two men after relatives and guards couldn't coax him back up, the AP reports. Thousands of mourners attended the funeral, at which Karzai appealed for an end to the violence in his country.

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The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assassination, which was carried out by a close confidant who had worked beside Wali Karzai for seven years, and called Wali Karzai a Western "puppet." But Afghan officials say it's not clear whether the Taliban or an internal dispute is truly responsible. The assassination leaves President Karzai without a powerful ally in the troubled Kandahar province, where the Taliban originated. Click for more on what it means. (Read more Hamid Karzai stories.)

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