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Thursday
Jul142011

Afghan President Names Replacement for Assassinated Half Brother

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- Grieving Afghan President Hamid Karzai wasted no time in nominating another family member to take the place of his half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, the head of Kandahar’s provincial council, who was assassinated by his bodyguard on Tuesday.

Wali Karzai was considered one of the most influential men in southern Afghanistan, as both a power broker and accused drug lord who nonetheless was a crucial member of President Karzai's administration.

The president was visibly shaken Wednesday as he said goodbye to his half-brother at the graveyard in Karz, where his father -- who was killed by the Taliban in 1999 -- is also buried.  Thousands attended the funeral.

Afterward, Shah Wali Karzai was nominated by President Karzai as the elder of the family and leader of his Populzai tribe.  The gesture was seen as one to consolidate the president's power in Kandahar as well as unite the various tribes against the Taliban.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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