Suicide Bomber Kills Kandahar Mayor (Second such death this month)
2011 07 27

By Taimoor Shah | NYTimes.com



In a further strike against the authorities in war-torn southern Afghanistan, the mayor of Kandahar was killed in his office on Wednesday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in his turban, officials said.

The killing heightened concerns that the tenuous security gains in the violent south are unraveling despite months of intensified fighting by NATO and Afghan forces.

The mayor, Ghulam Haider Hamidi, was killed in his office in central Kandahar, and one other person was injured, according to Zalmay Ayoubi, an official spokesman. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, news agencies reported.


Ghulam Haider Hamidi, left, the mayor of Kandahar, in his office earlier this month. Mr. Hamidi was killed by a suicide bomber on Wednesday.Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

He was the second senior official killed this month after the leader of the Kandahar provincial council, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a half brother of President Hamid Karzai, was assassinated in his compound by a close associate on July 12. Mr. Hamidi, the mayor, had been mentioned as a possible successor to Mr. Karzai as factions jostle to replace him, news reports said.

Mr. Hamidi was close to Ahmed Wali, but many Kandahar residents described him as distant because he had spent many years in the United States.

Mr. Hamidi had launched a contentious campaign to destroy illegal homes in northern Kandahar city. The campaign was strongly resisted by the people who lived there, many of whom had been there for years. A day earlier, there had been a protest and the mayor agreed to meet with the protesters on Wednesday.



The mayor of the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and another civilian were killed by a bomb on Wednesday. Image: Source

The bomber entered the mayor’ s compound with the protesters’ delegation, said Mr. Ayoubi, a spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, Toorylai Wesa.

“Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi was a real person who was loyal to his people and country,” Mr. Wesa told a news conference. “He knew how to do his job and dedicated his life in the service of the people. He was trying to rebuild Kandahar.”

Kandahar is the only major city in a rural region dominated by the lucrative poppy trade that supplies the world with most of its opium. Billions of dollars have poured in from the American military for security contracts, and billions more from United States and British foreign aid programs.

Read the full article at: nytimes.com




Hamidi survived other assassination attempts, including a March 2009 bombing, which prompted Canadian officials to buy him an armour-plated SUV.

Instead of blaming it on the Taliban, he pointed the finger at powerbrokers and noted the attack against him happened within sight of a police station.

"They put (a) bomb 60 metres from a police checkpoint. How are they coming here?" Hamidi asked in a separate interview last December.
"The municipality office is the only organization that wants to fight corruption. Now those corrupt people want to destroy the municipality office and (don’t want it) to serve the people."

Two of his deputies were assassinated by the Taliban over the last few years, prompting a mass exodus of municipal staff who felt it too dangerous to work for the city.

The mayor’s death has the potential to destabilize Kandahar to a greater extent than the recent murder of Wali Karzai.

Unlike the president’s half-brother, Hamidi was reasonably popular among ordinary Kandaharis because of his willingness to stick a finger in the eye of powerbrokers and foreign governments alike.

Source




Related Articles
Karzai Buries a Brother, and Quickly Appoints Another as Successor
Afghan President Karzai’s half-brother "killed by Taliban"
Karzai tells West that Afghanis will decide their own fate, and NATO ’accidentally’ whacks his cousin
Karzai: ’US Not After Terrorists in Afghanistan’
NATO becoming "occupying force": Furious Karzai bans ’house bombing’, killing of civilians


Latest News from our Front Page

Rural school is denied top grade by Ofsted inspectors because it’s ’too English’ and not diverse enough
2014 11 20
A high-performing primary school has missed out on Ofsted’s top grade after being judged too English. Pupils at the rural primary lacked ‘first-hand experience of the diverse make-up of modern British society’, declared the watchdog. However, around 97 per cent of the population in the town to which the school belongs are white. Ofsted refused it an ‘outstanding’ rating and graded it ...
Another banker Dead: Citigroup executive, 42, found dead in the bathtub of his Manhattan apartment with his throat cut
2014 11 20
Comment: The strange banked deaths continues. The global head of Citigroup’s environmental and social risk management was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday with a laceration to the throat. The body of Shawn D. Miller, 42, was discovered in the bathtub of his condo in Manhattan’s Financial District. There was no knife or obvious weapon found at the scene, leading ...
Six Hours of Increased Memory By Adding This to Breakfast
2014 11 19
Researchers from Monash Asia Institute at Monash University found that you can spice up your memory and help with diabetic and prediabetic conditions with a tiny amount of a powdery substance that might be in your cabinet as we speak. This substance can be added to scrambled egg recipes... Can make porridge and oatmeal pop when something sweet is added. Mixed into ...
5 Killed at Jerusalem Synagogue
2014 11 19
Comment: Wonder if this has anything to do with the continuation of the ethnic cleansing in Gaza this summer, or are they blind to their own actions and once again think that this comes out of the blue? Report from RT The gruesome slaying of five Israelis at a synagogue early Tuesday left many residents of this city fearing that the worst ...
Future of the UK: Police confront granny who put ‘racially offensive’ gorilla in window– even though no one complained
2014 11 19
For years, knitting fanatic Anne Feast has entertained local children with quirky displays of handmade animals in her front window. But when she put a gorilla there, police went, well…bananas. Two police community support officers knocked on her door and told the pensioner there had been a complaint about the ‘black body’, warning her that it was a ‘potentially racially offensive object’. The ...
More News »