11/06/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Afghan President's Brother Says Heroin Trade Links Are Fabricated, Politically Motivated

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The brother of Afghanistan's president denied any involvement in the heroin trade at a news conference on Monday, saying accusations linking him to heroin shipments were "baseless" and represented political pressure on the president following his criticism of a recent American airstrike that Afghanistan maintains killed scores of civilians.

The brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was challenging an article in The New York Times on Sunday, which examined the concerns of top American officials in Kabul and in Washington that he might be involved in heroin shipments, and that in any case, widespread perceptions that President Hamid Karzai might be protecting him are damaging the government's credibility and undermining efforts by the United States to buttress it.

In the article, both President Karzai and Ahmed Wali Karzai, now the chief of the Kandahar Provincial Council, dismissed the allegations as politically motivated attacks by longtime foes.

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