Karzai says tearful farewell to brother in Afghanistan

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The Independent Online

President Hamid Karzai buried his brother in a shrine at their ancestral home of Karz yesterday, leading an outpouring of grief for one of the country's most controversial politicians.

Soon after 7am, a tearful President Karzai stepped into Ahmed Wali Karzai's grave to kiss the Kandahar strongman a last goodbye.

Ahmed Waliwas shot dead on Tuesday morning by a bodyguard, confidante and friend.Mourners came from Afghanistan and beyond to follow the funeral cortege from Ahmed Wali's mansion in Kandahar City to the village 12 miles away where he was born in 1961.

Ministers, governors and MPs, as well friends and family from the US, Germany and India, flew in on Tuesday night to offer their condolences.

Security was tight, with helicopters overhead and the President's bodyguards watching warily.

Mourners steadied the President as he as leaned over Ahmed Wali's body.

Then grave diggers were shovelling dirt into the ground and Mr Karzai was gone, whisked away in a motorcade of black SUVs.

The remaining mourners - police chiefs, district officials and tribal elders - returned to the city where, for a second day running, shops remained shuttered, and inhabitants waited to see what the murder of Kandahar's kingpin would mean for them.