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Two Afghan Aid Workers Killed

From Associated Press

Gunmen killed two Afghans working for a German relief agency in the latest attack on humanitarian groups in the country, officials said Wednesday.

Mohammed Idrees Sadiq, a field officer employed by the Malteser Germany agency who was working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was shot to death along with his driver in an attack Tuesday on the road from Gardez, 60 miles south of Kabul, to Zormat in Paktia province, a U.N. spokesman said.

Meanwhile Wednesday, Afghanistan’s powerful defense minister, Mohammed Qassim Fahim, endorsed a rival to President Hamid Karzai in October’s elections and insisted that he would not use violence to try to hold on to his position.

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Karzai last week dropped Fahim, a militia leader who also serves as vice president, from his ticket for the Oct. 9 presidential vote. The surprise move split Karzai’s Cabinet and put NATO troops in Kabul on alert for any response from Fahim’s troops.

In his first public reaction, Fahim said the decision was a “mistake” that had alienated many of the militia leaders who helped United States-led forces oust the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Fahim insisted that the power struggle would be peaceful and said he was supporting former Education Minister Younis Qanooni, one of 22 candidates running against the U.S.-backed incumbent.


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