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Afghanistan

Turban-bomber kills Kandahar mayor

Reuters/Ahmad Nadeem

A suicide bomber who hid explosives in his turban has killed the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haidar Hameedi, Afghan police said Wednesday. The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

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The murder comes two weeks after the assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the so-called "King of Kandahar" who is President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother.

Dossier: AfPak news and analysis

Kandahar is the biggest city in southern Afghanistan and the birthplace of the Taliban.

The killing took place as the mayor discussed a land dispute with local people in the courtyard of the city hall, police General Abdul Raziq told the AFP news agency.

Kandahar is a hotbed of tribal rivalries over local influence and money.

Hameedi had ordered some houses to be destroyed as they were built illegally, participants at the meeting told AFP. Two children were reported killed on Tuesday while the houses were being knocked down.

Born in 1947, Hameedi lived for many years in the United States before returning to Afghanistan in 2006 and being appointed to his post by Karzai. He escaped an attack on his car in 2009. His last two deputy mayors were both shot dead in 2010, and the Kandahar province police chief and the province's deputy governor have also been killed this year.

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