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Major-General Rahmatullah Raufi is expected to leave his post as Kandahar governor less than four months after arriving in the volatile province, Afghan government sources say.

The former commander of Afghan troops in Kandahar was appointed to the governorship in August, after a spectacular Taliban jailbreak at a local prison prompted an overhaul of senior leadership.

Kandahar's violence has declined since Gen. Raufi took office, as part of the annual seasonal trends in the conflict, but Afghan government sources said he had recently feuded with the chairman of Kandahar's provincial council, Ahmed Wali Karzai.

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Mr. Karzai, the younger half-brother of President Hamid Karzai, said he cannot confirm any news about the governor.

"Honestly I've no idea what's going on," Ahmed Wali Karzai said. "I've heard from here and there the same thing, but I don't know."

Four government sources, including two with first-hand knowledge of the situation, said they expect Gen. Raufi will be replaced. None indicated when they expect a formal announcement, but word spread quickly through Kandahar city last night.

"I heard from two different people that the governor is leaving," said Haji Mohammed Essa, Kandahar's former attorney-general and a leading tribal elder.

"This is very sudden," he said. "It's difficult to say if he was good or bad for Kandahar because he was only here a short time. He always invited tribal elders for friendly meetings, so it's possible he could have done good here."

Gen. Raufi was born in Wardak province in 1948. He received his military training in the Soviet Union and served under the Communist regime of Mohammad Najibullah as an army officer in the northern province of Balkh.

He later became commander of Kandahar's 205 Corps, putting him in charge of Afghan troops fighting alongside U.S. and Canadian forces in the dangerous south.

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