Sunday, March 21, 2004

AFGHAN AVIATION MINISTER ASSASSINATED: The Associated Press is reporting that Mirwais Sadiq, the Afghan Aviation Minister, was assassinated on Sunday night. Sadiq is the son of Ismail Khan, a fundamentalist warlord who firmly controls the provinces of Herat (where he is based), Farah, Baghdis and parts of Numruz and Ghowr; all in the eastern part of Afghanistan. Khan also has a powerful militia at his disposal. A small-time commander by the name of Zaher Naib Zada called the AP and claimed to have assassinated Sadiq. I'm not familiar with Zada and it's not clear whether a) Zada was a rival warlord who assassinated Sadiq to get to Khan or b) Zada is part of Khan's outfit who was having his own problems with Sadiq or c) Zada is lying. For the time being, I'm placing my bets on option A.

The implactions of Sadiq's assassination are not known yet, but there is no doubht that it will absolutely pose a new challenge for Karzai, who's already had problems with Ismail Khan since he returned to Kabul.

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