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Afghan president attends funeral of slain brother

— Thousands of people joined Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday in a dramatic funeral ceremony for his slain half brother, assassinated the day before in his home by a close associate. Ahmed Wali Karzai was gunned down Tuesday by one of his closest confidants — an assassin from his own tribe and hometown, whom he traveled with and worked beside for seven years. The slaying left a dangerous power vacuum in the south as the Afghan government pursues peace talks with insurgents ahead of a U.S. troop withdrawal. The international military coalition has few friends of stature in the province and none with the sweeping influence of Wali…