Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's half brother was murdered by his own chief of security in Kandahar yesterday.
Ahmad Wali Karzai, a leading power broker in the country's south, was shot dead at his home in a blow to Nato's battle against the Taliban in the area.
He was shot twice by his long-time head of security Sardar Mohammed, who was himself killed almost immediately.
The Taliban said they carried out the attack, calling it one of their top achievements in 10 years of war.
Khaled Pashtun, a Kandahar province politician, was sceptical about the Taliban claims, saying the Islamist group had claimed responsibility for many attacks in the past without much evidence of their involvement.
Sardar Mohammed's motives remain unclear, but the killing will raise questions about securing Afghanistan's top officials.
Wali Karzai was not a very nice fellow. He was a warlord who teamed up with his half brother to fix elections, steal aid money, deal drugs, and make life miserable for NATO. It looks like the Taliban had nothing to do with this murder - more likely some clan, tribal, or personal matter that led to his death.
Unfortunately, this complicates President Karzai's job. Wali helped control Kandahar and the surrounding territory for his half brother - a stratetically vital area in Afghanistan. There is no one of equal stature on Karzai's side at the moment and until things shake out in the inevitable power struggle in the province, Karzai won't have much control over the area.