July 27 - Kandahar mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi is killed in a suicide blast just two weeks after the assassination of the Afghan President's brother in the same city. Simon Hanna reports.
This is the scene of the latest targeted killing in Afghanistan. Kandahar City Mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi died on Wednesday in a suicide bomb attack near his office. 65 year old Hamidi, a U.S. citizen, was killed just two weeks after the assassination of the President's brother, also in Kandahar. Speaking in the capital Kabul, United States ambassador Ryan Crocker denounced the attack. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNNITED STATES AMERICAN AMBASSADOR RYAN CROCKER: "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the assassination of another senior Afghan government official. Our condolences are with his family, with the government and people of Afghanistan. Another indication again of both the challenges that Afghanistan faces, but also the extraordinary resilience of the Afghan government and people." Kandahar province is the Taliban's birthplace, and a focus of recent efforts by a surge of U.S. troops to turn the tide of the insurgency in the decade-long war. Recent killings have stoked instability as foreign troops begin withdrawing ahead of Afghan forces taking full security control by the end of 2014. Simon Hanna, Reuters.