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Taliban claim Karzai adviser killing

The Taliban on Monday claimed the overnight killing of one of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's key advisers, who died along with a lawmaker in an attack on his home in Kabul.

world Updated: Jul 18, 2011 10:58 IST

The Taliban on Monday claimed the overnight killing of one of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's key advisers, who died along with a lawmaker in an attack on his home in Kabul.



Jan Mohammad Khan, the former governor of southern Uruzgan province and a key ally of the embattled president, was killed along with an MP for Uruzgan.



"We killed Jan Mohammad Khan. We made him pay for his deeds," Taliban's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.



Khan, a long-standing Karzai ally and key tribal chieftain, was killed in the attack that the interior ministry said was carried out by two assailants.



The gunmen targeted the house late Sunday and a standoff lasted until the early hours of Monday. One police officer and the two assailants were also killed, the interior ministry said.



The assassination comes less than a week after the president's half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot dead by a close friend at his home in the southern province of Kandahar, in an attack also claimed by the Taliban.



A senior government official speaking anonymously told AFP that Khan's death was a major blow for the US-backed leader.



"He was very close to the president. His death is as important as Ahmad Wali Karzai's death," the official said.