Karzai's cousin and Ghani ally killed in
Afghan suicide attack
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[July 29, 2014]
KABUL (Reuters) - President Hamid
Karzai's powerful cousin, a close ally of presidential candidate Ashraf
Ghani, was killed on Tuesday in a suicide bomb attack at his home, the
governor's office in the southern province of Kandahar said.
Hashmat Karzai was hosting an event for the Eid al-Fitr holiday at
his home in the province when a man posing as a guest set off hidden
explosives as Karzai greeted him, the governor's office said.
The attack comes as the country is caught in a political deadlock
over a disputed election to replace Hamid Karzai as president.
A spokesman for the provincial governor said the bomber had been
"His style was very modern, everything was new, and when he came to
talk with Hashmat Khalil and wish him a happy Eid, he blew himself
up," the spokesman said.
There was no claim of responsibility.
Ghani, a former finance minister, and his rival, former foreign
minister Abdullah Abdullah, say the vote was marred by fraud, and
the United Nations has sent a team of observers to oversee an audit
of the ballot.
The new president had been due to be sworn in next month.
Major delays could complicate plans for an agreement to keep about
10,000 U.S. troops in the country after most troops leave at the end
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Ghani, a former World Bank official, condemned the killing of his
"(We) condemn this act, of the enemies of AFG, in the strongest
terms," Ghani wrote on Twitter.
No one else was killed and security agents were investigating, the
governor's office said.
The two candidates agreed to an audit of all the vote's cast in a
second round run-off after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
brokered a deal, but the process is moving slowly, bogged down by
(Reporting by Jessica Donati; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Robert
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