BEIJING, Aug. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Afghanistan has seen a series of high-profile attacks and assassinations in recent months. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the wave of attacks, which come as NATO forces begin the handover of security to local troops in parts of the country.
July the 12th, 2011.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half brother is assassinated at his home in Kandahar.
Officials say Ahmad Wali Karzai was apparently shot by one of his bodyguards.
The Taliban says it carried out the attack, calling it one of its top achievements in 10 years of war.
Ahmad Wali Karzai was one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan. His assassination leaves a dangerous power vacuum in Kandahar.
Five days later, Jan Mohammad Khan is killed in an attack on his home in Kabul.
Khan was a top aide to Afghan President Hamid Karzai on tribal issues.
Lawmaker Hasham Watan also died in the attack.
Again, the Taliban said it killed Khan, because he was assisting coalition forces in carrying out night raids against Afghans.
July the 27th, 2011.
The mayor of the Afghan city Kandahar is killed by a suicide bomber.
The killing of Ghulam Haider Hamidi is an act of revenge by the Taliban. The mayor had once ordered the destruction of their homes.
Such killings have sent a warning to other political leaders about the Taliban's reach .
They also highlight the challenges that lie ahead for the war-torn country.
Special Report: Afghanistan Situation