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Afghan Ex-President Slain in his Kabul Home

Former president chaired council trying to make peace with Taliban

Image: Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani meets with journalists in Herat, Afghanistan, in December 2010. (Photo credit: Jalil Rezayee / EPA)

The Associated Press and Reuters via
September 20, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker with a bomb in his turban posed as a Taliban peace envoy and assassinated a former Afghan president who for the past year headed a government council seeking a political settlement with the insurgents.

Tuesday’s attack, carried out in former President Burhanuddin Rabbani’s Kabul home, dealt a harsh blow to attempts at ending a decade of war. The killing of Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik and one of the wise old men of Afghan politics, will blunt efforts to keep in check the regional and ethnic rivalries that help feed the insurgency.

President Hamid Karzai cut short a visit to the United Nations and called on Afghans to remain unified in the face of Rabbani’s “martyrdom.” An emergency Cabinet meeting was called for Wednesday.

The attack came days after a daytime assault by insurgents on the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters that deepened a sense of insecurity in the capital. …

As the leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Rabbani sought a political deal with the Taliban — with U.S. blessing — and he will be hard to replace soon. His death could unleash a well of resentment among some senior Northern Alliance members, who accuse Karzai of colluding with the Taliban.

Already Afghanistan’s ethnic minorities have begun to rearm in the face of negotiations with the Taliban, who are mostly ethnic Pashtuns, as is Karzai. Rabbani’s killing is likely to accelerate that process and lay the foundation for a possible civil war once U.S. combat troops leave the country or take on support roles by the end of 2014. …

The Taliban have been targeting senior officials in the government and close associates of Karzai.

On July 27, an insurgent with a bomb under his turban killed the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haider Hamidi. Five days earlier, a close associate gunned down Karzai’s powerful half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, at his home in Kandahar. During Karzai’s funeral a turban bomber killed a prominent cleric. The killings prompted Karzai to urge Afghan religious leaders to condemn the use of turban bombs.

That same month, Karzai’s inner circle suffered another hit when gunmen in Kabul killed Jan Mohammad Khan, a presidential adviser on tribal issues and a former governor of Uruzgan province, which is also in the south.

On May 28, a suicide bomber infiltrated a high-level meeting in Taloqan, Takhar province, killing northern Afghanistan’s top police commander, Gen. Mohammed Daoud, provincial police chief Shah Jehan Noori and two German soldiers. He also seriously wounded the German NATO commander in northern Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. Markus Kneip.

Full story


Related reports on this site

A blood-stained turban is seen at the site where Kandahar City mayor Ghulam Haidar Hamidi was killed after a suicide blast on July 27, 2011. (Photo credit: Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters)

Afghan President’s Brother Assassinated (July 13, 2011)

‘Limited Chance of Success’ in Afghanistan (Dec. 15, 2010)

Political Solution to Afghanistan War (Oct. 12, 2010)

Escalating Afghanistan Violence (Nov. 20, 2009)



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One Response to “Former Afghan President Assassinated”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » American Killed by Rogue Afghan Worker Inside Kabul CIA Office Says:

    […] Former Afghan President Assassinated (Sept. 20, 2011) […]

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