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Taliban kills Kandahar mayor

world Updated: Jul 27, 2011 23:25 IST
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A suicide bomber killed the mayor of Afghanistan’s Kandahar on Wednesday, a further blow to stability in the southern city still reeling from the assassination two weeks ago of President Hamid Karzai’s powerbroker half-brother.

The death of Mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, a US citizen, is the latest in a string of assassinations of powerful southern leaders and Karzai allies that could weaken the president’s hold on an area that has long been a Taliban stronghold.

Hamidi, 65, was killed and one person was wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a corridor near Hamidi’s office, said Zalmay Ayoubi, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Kandahar police chief Abdul Razaq said Hamidi was meeting elders from a city district when one of them got close to the mayor and detonated a bomb hidden in his turban.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi initially said it was too early to tell what had happened but later claimed responsibility for killing Hamidi.