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AFGHAN PRESIDENT'S BROTHER DENIES BEING ON CIA PAYROLL

KABUL, Afghanistan - Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president, on Wednesday denied reports that he has received regular payments from the CIA for much of the past eight years.

The New York Times, citing current and former American officials, reported Tuesday that the CIA pays Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that is used for raids against suspected insurgents and terroristsin and around Kandahar.

He also helps the CIA communicate with and sometimes meet with Afghans loyal to the Taliban, the newspaper reported.

Karzai called the report "ridiculous."

"I work with the Americans, the Canadians, the British, anyone who asks for my help. They (CIA) do their own recruitment. I have no idea where they get their recruits. It's absolutely ridiculous," he told the Associated Press in Afghanistan.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs refused to discuss any possible relationship between Karzai and the CIA but suggested the Obama administration would not endorse such an arrangement.

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