07/18/2011, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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Karzai advisor, Jan Mohammad Khan, is killed

He was a tribal chief of Uruzgan. Along with the killing of Wali Karzai, there is the risk of greater instability in the south. Gen. Petraeus hands over command of NATO troops to Gen. John Allen.
Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A senior adviser to President Hamid Karzai was killed last night by armed men who entered his house in Kabul. The killing comes a few days after the killing of the President’s brother, Wali Karzai, increasing insecurity and instability in the south of the country.

At about 8 pm, an armed group broke into the house of Jan Mohammed Khan (pictured), killing him and parliamentarian Mohammed Hashem Watanwal. In the ensuing gunbattle with police one of the assailants was killed.

Jan Mohammed Khan, former governor of Uruzgan province (south of the country), was an influential tribal leader. The MP killed was also from Uruzgan. Khan had helped Karzai in the fight against the Taliban, although many criticized him for ambiguous relations with the local militias and over human rights violations.

The killing of Khan comes less than a week from the assassination of Karzai's brother, who was governor of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, also located in the south.

Their death is likely to increase the volatility of the southern part of the country, just as NATO troops have begun the transition of command to the Afghan army.

Only yesterday, NATO handed over control of the province of Bamiyan (west of Kabul), to the Afghan armed forces, according to a plan announced by President Karzai in March last year that should be completed in 2014.

Yesterday was also the last day of command of NATO troops for Gen. David Petraeus. He was called to Washington as head of the CIA. He has been replaced by Gen. John Allen.

After about 10 years of war in Afghanistan, there are about 150 000 foreign troops, including 100 thousand from the United States.

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