Brother of Afghan national security adviser shot dead



Herat (Afghanistan): Gunmen assassinated a brother of Afghanistan's national security adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta outside a public bathhouse in the family's relatively peaceful home province today, police said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing of Wali Jaan, a public prosecutor in the small town of Karukh in the western province of Herat which borders Iran.

"Today at around 8:30 am (0400 GMT) Wali Jaan, the brother of Dr Spanta, was gunned down. He was attacked by two persons on a motorbike as he came out of a (public) bath," Herat police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi told a news agency.

"The attackers fled the area," he added.

Herat police chief Rahmatullah Safi confirmed the killing but gave no further details.

Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi called a news agency from an unknown location and said the insurgent militia was responsible.

"This person... Who has worked with the government over the last four years was killed in a guerrilla attack by one of our mujahideen in Herat," Ahmadi said.

"He was a key government official," he added.

Spanta is one of the most influential people in the Western-backed government. He served as foreign minister before becoming national security adviser to President Hamid Karzai.

Taliban insurgents have carried out attacks in Herat since the 2001 US-led invasion brought down their regime in Kabul, but most of their activity is concentrated elsewhere.

AFP