Afghanistan bomber kills president's cousin Hashmat Karzai

Hashmat Karzai with his lion Hashmat Karzai, seen here with his pet lion

A suicide bomber has killed a cousin of President Hamid Karzai in the southern city of Kandahar, officials say.

Hashmat Karzai was greeting a well-wisher to his house when the man blew himself up. One report said explosives were hidden in the bomber's turban.

Mr Karzai had been receiving guests on the festival of Eid marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He was a campaign manager for Ashraf Ghani, one of two presidential hopefuls vying to replace Hamid Karzai.

There was no immediate claim for the assassination.

It follows a series of attacks carried out by the Taliban and their allies as votes are rechecked in the bitterly disputed election.

Hashmat Karzai was influential and a key backer of Ashraf Ghani.

The BBC's David Loyn in Kabul says he had emerged as a significant power-broker in the politics of Kandahar, the most important city in the south of Afghanistan.

The Karzai family had been split by a long running feud, our correspondent reports.

Hashmat, who had a pet lion, was the head of a security company with major US contracts, and had been implicated by some family members in the killing of a cousin - a charge he denied.

His own father was murdered by another family member 25 years ago.

In 2011 Hamid Karzai's brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai, was murdered in his home in Kandahar in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

More Asia stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • St John's, CanadaThe Travel Show Watch

    It’s a ships’ symphony – listen to these freighters in Canada play music with their horns

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.