Suspect ID'd in ex-Afghan official's death

Oct. 14, 2011 at 1:29 PM
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A suspect was named in the slaying of a former official of the Afghanistan government who was gunned down while driving a taxi in San Diego, police said Friday.

Ismael Raul Lopez, 28, was being sought under an arrest warrant issued this week for the death of Mir Najibullah Sadat Sahou, a onetime governor of the Afghanistan Central Bank killed in an apparent confrontation with a passenger along a street in the upscale La Jolla district Sept. 28.

Police did not release details of what led them to name Lopez as a suspect, but they asked for the public's help in tracking him down, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

While the shooting had the hallmarks of a simple robbery, there were suspicions Sahou's former position in the pre-Taliban government and his continued interest in Afghan politics had made him a target of something more nefarious.

Sahou, 68, settled in San Diego in 1993 and was recently the host of a cable television program that focused on politics in his homeland. The Union-Tribune said the show was carried worldwide on Ariana Afghanistan International, a cable network based in Irvine, Calif.

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