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Opposition leader still in Afghanistan, brother says

By Amanda Kibel
CNN

QUETTA, Pakistan (CNN) -- The brother of opposition leader Hamid Karzai said Tuesday his brother remains inside Afghanistan and continues to organize resistance against the Taliban.

Akhmed Walid Karzai said he speaks to his brother several times a day by satellite phone.

Akhmed Karzai said his brother was involved in a firefight with the Taliban on Thursday of last week and, although one of his men was injured, Hamid Karzai was able to escape.

Last week, Pentagon officials said the United States had gone to the aid of Hamid Karzai, a prominent opposition leader in southern Afghanistan and a Pashtun tribal leader. He is an ally of the former Afghan king Mohammad Zahir Shah.

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Akhmed Karzai said he could not say if the United States had provided food, ammunition and weapons to his brother, but he knew that his brother was still inside Afghanistan.

Akhmed Karzai said his brother has been trying to put together support among tribal leaders for a Loya Jirga, a gathering of trial leaders which has traditionally chosen Afghanistan's leaders, and that his brother has been in contact with the United States and others "for many years" about establishing a government in Afghanistan.

He was also said to be talking with some Taliban commanders about defecting.

The brother said mujahedeen leaders have come to the family home in Quetta, Pakistan, where the Karzai family has lived for the past 15 years. He said they were waiting for a signal from Hamid Karzai for them to cross the border and join him.

One mujahideen commander, who said he had only recently left Afghanistan, told CNN he wants to go back and fight against the Taliban.

The commander said morale among Taliban troops is low and that most people want the Taliban ousted. He said the Taliban have cracked down on all opposition and have threatened that if anyone speaks about the former king, he or she will be killed.



 
 
 
 


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