Mahmoud Karzai: ‘We are under siege’

Gunmen wearing suicide vests shot dead a presidential advisor and an Afghan politician at a house in Kabul last night.

The two gunmen stormed into the house of the former governor of Uruzgan, Jan Mohammed Khan, at 8pm on Sunday night as both men were sitting down to dinner.

The attackers shot and killed the governor’s bodyguards at the gate before storming into the house and executing Mohammed Khan and the MP, Mohammed Watanwal as they sat talking together on the floor of one of the rooms, according to a detective who arrived at the scene shortly after the killings.

Police then surrounded the house in Kabul’s peaceful Kart-e-Char district, triggering a gun battle that raged into the early hours of Monday morning.

Policemen shot and killed one attacker before the other blew himself up. Three policemen were also killed in the fire-fight.

President Hamid Karzai relied on Mohammed Khan, who was a close friend of his, for advice.

His death comes less than a week after Ahmad Wali Karzai, the president’s half-brother, in Kandahar City.

A civilian wounded in the suicide bombing at Kandahar's Red Mosque, where a funeral ceremony for AWK was being held

“We are under siege,” said Mahmoud Karzai, the president’s brother, speaking shortly after escaping a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kandahar last week.

The bomb, which the attacker placed in his turban to avoid security, exploded six metres from Mahmoud and three of his brothers at the funeral ceremony of their half-brother, Ahmad Wali, who was killed on Tuesday by a close friend.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of Mohammed Khan and the MP Watanwal, accusing the former of passing information about insurgent locations to Nato troops.

Mohammed Khan was a former mujahideen and militia commander in the southern province of Uruzgan. He was a close friend of the president’s father. Khan, with the help of American Special Forces, was also instrumental in helping President Karzai return to Afghanistan after 9/11.

For more information on Khan’s past and his ties to the Karzai family read this blog on the Afghan Analysts Network website.

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