July 27th, 2011
09:31 AM ET

A series of assassinations

The assassination of Kandahar's mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi is the latest in a string of killings across the country, and the most recent for a region that appears to be deadly for high-ranking officials.

– Two deputy mayors of Kandahar City have been gunned down by militants in the past year, according to the governor's office.

Kandahar Police Chief Khan Mohammad Mujahid was also killed by a suicide bomber in April.

– Perhaps the most high-profile attack occurred earlier this month when Kandahar's provincial council chief Ahmed Wali Karzai – the president's half-brother and an influential power-broker in country's south - was gunned down by a longtime bodyguard inside his home. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack, though rumors soon swirled that his death could also have been the result of a murder over personal grievances.

– During a remembrance ceremony for the president's half-brother at a Kandahar mosque two days after his death, a suicide bomber slipped into the building and killed six people, wounding 15 others.

– Within the next week, a key political adviser to the Afghan president and a Parliament member were gunned down in a home west of Kabul.

The killings have taken place just as a security transfer to Afghan control and a NATO draw-down is underway.


Filed under: Kandahar • Taliban
July 27th, 2011
09:21 AM ET

2010 interview with Kandahar mayor

Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, the mayor of Afghanistan's Kandahar city, was killed in a suicide bomb attack Wednesday, the latest in a series of recent high-profile assassinations the Taliban have taken responsibility for.

The mayor was killed during a city hall meeting in the provincial capital when explosives detonated inside the turban of his attacker, according to Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor's office.

In 2010, CNN's Jill Dougherty got a behind-the-scenes look at the mayor and city hall:


Filed under: Kandahar
July 14th, 2011
08:19 AM ET

6 die in suicide attack at Kandahar mosque

A suicide attack in a mosque where several high-ranking Afghan officials had gathered to remember President Hamid Karzai's half-brother killed at least six people and wounded 15 others Thursday, a hospital official said.

The attacker hid the explosive device under his turban and detonated it among a group of people who were reading the Quran at the Sera Jama Mosque, said Sher Shah Yousafzai, the police chief of Kandahar where the attack occurred.

The attendees were mourning Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar provincial council chief, who was killed Tuesday by a guard during a gathering at his house.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Tuesday shooting, saying that the guard accused of killing him was working for them.

Karzai was buried Wednesday, with the president in attendance.

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Filed under: Kandahar • Karzai
July 12th, 2011
02:25 PM ET

What's next for Afghan stability after Ahmed Wali Karzai's death?

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed Tuesday, gunned down by a bodyguard in Kandahar. The Taliban say the shooter was on their payroll.

CNN Sr. International Correspondent Nic Robertson weighs in on the relationship between the brothers, how much is known about him and how important he was to the United States and Afghanistan. FULL POST


Filed under: Kandahar • Karzai
July 12th, 2011
07:41 AM ET

Officials: Karzai's half-brother shot dead

The half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead at his home in Kandahar on Tuesday, authorities said.

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar provincial council chief, was killed during a gathering, said provincial governor Tooryalai Wesa. He did not know a motive.

While the governor initially said a friend killed Karzai, his spokesman later clarified that the death was at the hands of a guard.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying that the guard accused of shooting him was working for them.

 

Read the full story

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Filed under: Kandahar • Karzai
April 15th, 2011
08:57 AM ET

Attack kills police chief, 2 others in Kandahar

An attack on police headquarters Friday killed the police chief for the southern Afghan province of Kandahar and two others, the Interior Ministry said.

The police chief, Khan Mohammad Mujahed, and the two others were killed, but authorities knew little beyond that, the ministry said.  Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and has been the scene of fierce fighting between international forces and insurgents.

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Filed under: Afghan security forces • Kandahar
April 4th, 2011
09:59 AM ET

Petraeus condemns Quran burning as protests rage on

Top U.S. officials in Afghanistan on Sunday condemned the burning of a Quran in the United States that sparked three days of protests in which more than 20 people died.

Burning the Muslim holy book "was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible," said Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan.

U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry said in a statement that Americans respect the Quran "and all religious texts and deplore any action that shows disrespect to any religious faith."

"At the same time, I want to emphasize, as have many Afghan leaders, that to attack and kill innocent people in response to the deplorable act of one individual is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity," Eikenbery's statement said.

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Filed under: Kandahar • Understanding Afghanistan
Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers
From left, Army Spc. Rudolph Hizon, Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, Staff Sgt. Chauncy Mays, and Spc. Brian Tabada.
March 10th, 2011
03:19 PM ET

Viral post pits coverage of Sheen, fallen soldiers

By Wayne Drash, CNN

It started with a Facebook status update. Upset at the media's coverage of Charlie Sheen, someone took up for American soldiers dying in Afghanistan.

"Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he's a celebrity drug addict," it said, "while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status for a little while."

The status update has since gone viral, shared by tens of thousands on Facebook. An abbreviated version is on Twitter.

When a friend of mine posted the message on her Facebook page, it was a sobering reminder of the news media’s failings of covering the Afghanistan war. I kept returning to the names of the four soldiers. Who were these men? What’s their story?

FULL POST


Filed under: Casualties • Kandahar • Troops
January 31st, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Kandahar's deputy governor killed

The deputy governor of Afghanistan's Kandahar province was killed in a suicide attack Saturday, a government official said.

Abdul Latif Ashna was killed and his driver was wounded in Kandahar City on Saturday morning, said Zalmai Ayoubi, a spokesman for the governor. FULL POST

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Filed under: Kandahar
January 13th, 2011
10:39 AM ET

Military chief: U.S. gaining, but hard road ahead

America's top military officer painted an upbeat picture Wednesday of progress in Afghanistan. But the Joint Chiefs chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, cautioned that recent successes are fragile and future advances will be costly.

"The enemy is being pushed out of population centers. He's being denied sanctuary. And he's losing leaders by the score," Mullen said Wednesday.

But he told reporters that the U.S. and allies must press ahead and redouble their efforts. The United States added 30,000 troops in 2010. FULL POST

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Filed under: Helmand • Kandahar • Troops