Head of the Kandahar Provincial Council and brother of President Hamid Karzai, Ahmad Wali Karzai, was assassinated by his bodyguard at his home on Tuesday morning.
Mr Wali Karzai was shot dead by his body guard, a decade-long loyal bodyguard Sardar Mohammad, at his home, a spokesman for Kandahar governor, Zalmai Ayubi told TOLOnews.
Hours after the attack, President Karzai appeared at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and expressed regret over the death of his brother, hoping the miseries of the Afghan people will end one day.
French President Sarkozy also expressed condolence to President Karzai, adding the Afghans are going through a difficult time.
Shortly after the news conference President Karzai reportedly flew to Kandahar.
Ahmad Wali Karzai, 50, was assassinated after he was asked by one his security guards for a private discussion during a meeting with tribal elders and politicians at his heavily-guarded house.
After he left for another room with his bodyguard, three gunshots were heard, according to officials who were present in the house during the incident.
The shooter was killed right after the assassination took place.
Ahmad Wali Karzai, who was born in 1961, was immediately taken to Maiwand Hospital with security forces blocking the way to the hospital, but he succumbed to heavy bleeding and wounds before reaching the hospital.
He took three shots one in the head, one in the chest and another in the hand.
Former Chief of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Amrullah Saleh, condemned the attack shortly after the assassination.
"I strongly condemn the attack that resulted in the murder of Ahmad Wali Karzai. I have always stressed that the enemies of Afghanistan including Taliban, al-Qaeda and Pakistanis will have no mercy on the Afghan people and will try to assassinate Afghan effective figures one by one," Mr Saleh told TOLOnews.
He called on the Afghan government to be cautious in identifying its enemies and friends.
Coalition forces in Afghanistan described the incident as shocking.
Outgoing US four-star general David Petraeus, the US commander of Nato-led coalition troops, also expressed condolence to President Karzai and his family.
"My personal sympathy and condolences go out to President Karzai and his family during this extremely difficult time," Gen. David Petraeus, who is leaving his post in a couple of weeks, said.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the assassination.
President Karzai's half brother has survived some attacks on his life in the past.
In 2009 his motorcade came under heavy missile and machine gun attack on Kabul-Nangarhar highway, but he escaped unhurt.
In 2008 when he was chairing a meeting in a government building a fuel tanker filled with explosives was detonated close by.
He had called the Taliban responsible for attacks on his life.
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