Early reactions to the assassination of Kandahar’s mayor

by Una Moore on 7/27/2011 · 8 comments

A suicide bomber, reportedly with explosives concealed in his turban, killed Kandahar mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi this morning. Journalists based in Kandahar and Kabul broke the news on Twitter and shared reactions.

According to the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary, the bomber arrived at the mayor’s office with a group of men who wanted to discuss a dispute related to land ownership and property destruction. Intelligence agents told Sarwary that the disguised attacker breached several layers of security in the mayor’s compound.

“Hamidi’s death exacerbates the politics of uncertainty shivering across Afghanistan,” Julius Cavendish wrote, later asking “Do turban bombs make forensic investigations harder? How much of the head is left? How to tell who the bomber was?”

“Mayor Hamidi, a good man and a friend was killed in Kandahar this morning. My heart goes out to his family,” wrote Matt Aikins. Tom Peter echoed that sentiment, tweeting, “Mayor was a good hearted man with a kind family. Some of the friendliest people I met in Kandahar. Thoughts are w/ them.”

Erin Cunningham, who conducted one of the last interviews with the mayor before he was killed, tweeted, “Yesterday, Hamidi was optimistic about the future of Kandahar. Said he was offered positions in Kabul but loved his job at city hall.”

The Taliban have reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing, the second assassination of a high-profile Kandahar politician this month.


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Inkan1969 July 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Articles like this one:


describe Hamidi as an honest politician who tried to improve the conditions of his city in the face of the corruption and violence; a big contrast to Karzai’s brother. Is this an accurate portrayal of Hamidi.

Nick Hanz July 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Putting aside all the “good” he was trying to do- the biggest problem Im guessing Afghans have with him is that he represents a US occupation that they do not and will not tolerate.

One has to look at it from their perspective, and not from a so-called educated/academic perspective.

anan July 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Inkan, I have the same question. Many people have praised Hamidi over the years. One of the reasons I thought AWK’s death might be a positive for Kandahar was that Hamidi might be able to capture more influence in Kandahar as a result.

On Karzai’s bro, could he have been killed by an intra family dispute?:


Hamidi death strikes me as a big negative. Hope 205th ANA Corps fills the power vacuum by consolidating power in Kandahar province. I don’t know about a single well executed platoon sized attack on the ANA in Kandahar in the last couple months. Was there one?

Nick Hanz July 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

well again, you seemingly appear to disregard what the Afghan people want, and that is the for the US to leave their country.

As long as Karzai and his allies try to desperately sell the US occupation to the Afghan people, they will be seen as collaborators in the war which is being waged against them.

You can’t pick an Afghan-American, and expect him to rule Afghans.

History has shown they do not tolerate this.

M Shannon July 27, 2011 at 8:28 pm

“Hope 205th ANA Corps fills the power vacuum by consolidating power in Kandahar province.”

Yes let’s start the coup d’etats early. Why wait until 2014 when we can have a colonel made President for Life this year.

BTW. I think the big winner in this will be 2nd platoon, B company 3/205th.

Nick Hanz July 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Well, he was considered responsible for the theft of land from the Afghan people. The US-Kabul nexus is heavily involved in stealing peoples land. Just a few days ago, 2 boys were bulldozed to death.

It is a complex thing. However, I suggest that all of you start taking the Afghan perception into account. They are opposed o the US occupation, and will never tolerate it. Karzai has unfortunately linked himself to the US occupation, and hence, therefore is seen as their puppet, and is considered equally responsible for the murders of Afghans via US airstrikes and nigh raids.

Funny how intellects like to talk, but the elephant in the room is the Afghan people, and they resent the US occupation.

Toryalay Shirzay July 31, 2011 at 11:56 pm

@Nick Hanz, your assessment of Afghan people is incorrect;some Afghan people mostly Pushtoon and Taliban supporters oppose US/NATO presence in Afstan;many Afghans view their presence as preventing a civil war which to them is far more beneficial than anything else and these Afghans are the majority.

anan August 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

Agreed. But you might add 100 pages of nuance to it.

I keep hearing from multiple sources [granted they trend anti Taliban] that the Afghan people [especially the anti Taliban Afghans such as NDS, ANA, ANP, former Northern Alliance, minorities] believe ISAF backs the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the ANSF, GIRoA and Afghan people.

This in my view is by far the number one threat to ISAF in Afghanistan. [And to the ANSF and anti Taliban coalition since they need international assistance against the Taliban.]

Toryalay Shirzay, I always learn a lot from your comments. Is there any way to convince Afghans that ISAF doesn’t back the Taliban and AQ, or is it hopeless?

Funny thing is there are some actual Europeans who do back the Taliban. One that I came across called the ANA “brigands” and hated them [except for the ANA he claimed were Taliban.] He was a Caucasian secular Britisher. If Nick Hanz is any indication, this sentiment might be starting to take hold in the US as well.

Perhaps the anti Taliban Afghans should focus more on finding ways to defeat the Taliban with less European and American help.

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