Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother Ahmad Wali Karzai was shot dead on Tuesday morning.

Wali was one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan and the Interior Ministry confirmed the news later.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was martyred by a bullet strike inside his house in Kandahar, the statement said.

Earlier, a counter-terrorism unit head said Ahmad Wali was reportedly killed by his own bodyguard.

Wali Karzai, who heads Kandahar’s provincial council, first came to prominence when WikiLeaks released documents pointing out his role in illegal deals with the lucrative opium trade and private security firms.