Swedish journalist killed in Afghanistan, underscoring fears of rising violence ahead of vote

The Associated Press

In this file photo dated Aug. 20, 2013 and made available by Swedish Radio on Tuesday March 11, 2014, Swedish journalist Nils Horner is photographed in Stockholm. The Swedish journalist was shot to death while he was talking to a translator Tuesday on a street in Kabul, according to officials and witnesses. Nils Horner, 51, who also had British citizenship, had worked for Swedish Radio SR since 2001 as a foreign correspondent mostly in Asia and the Middle East, including Afghanistan and Baghdad. The motive was unclear. (AP Photo/Mattias Ahlm, Swedish Radio) SWEDEN OUT

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Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans waving flags and chanting crowded into a Kabul cemetery and thronged an ambulance carrying Fahim's flag-covered coffin to the gravesite. Fahim, who died Sunday at 57, was an ethnic Tajik and a leading commander in the Northern Alliance, which battled the Taliban for years and helped the U.S. in ousting the Islamic militant movement.

At a funeral service earlier in the presidential palace, Karzai lauded Fahim — who held the rank of field marshal and had survived several assassination attempts — for always promoting national interest.

"I lost my best friend and my brother," Karzai said, surrounded by tribal leaders and other Afghan dignitaries and foreign diplomats. "He was always with me in making important decisions on international and domestic issues."

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Associated Press writers Amir Shah in Kabul, Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki and Karl Ritter in Stockholm contributed to this report.

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