Afghans Protest Killing
of Burhanuddin Rabbani, Former President
September 21, 2011
of Afghans gathered Wednesday to protest the killing of former Afghan
president and peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani at his home in the
Police say Mr. Rabbani, who served as president from 1992 to 1996, was
killed Tuesday by a suicide attacker who detonated a bomb hidden in his
turban. Officials say the attacker had claimed to be an emissary from
the Taliban carrying a special message and met Mr. Rabbani in his home.
At least four other people were killed in the blast, and one of
President Hamid Karzai's key advisors, Masoom Stanekzai, was wounded.
Mr. Rabbani headed the country's High Peace Council and was in contact
with elements of the insurgency in order to find a peaceful political
settlement to the conflict.
On Wednesday, crowds of mourners carrying pictures of Mr. Rabbani and
banners gathered on a street outside of his house, while a string of
government officials arrived to pay their respects amid tight security.
Mr. Rabbani's funeral is expected to be held in Kabul sometime this
NATO officials blamed two suicide bombers for the attack, saying they
were feigning a desire to conduct reconciliation talks. A Taliban
spokesman told Reuters news agency on Tuesday that the group carried out
the attack and had appointed two articulate and well-trained fighters to
build contacts with Mr. Rabbani.
But another reported Taliban spokesman rejected that claim, telling the
French news agency on Wednesday that the group would not comment about
Mr, Karzai condemned the assassination Tuesday saying the former Afghan
president sacrificed his life for the sake of Afghanistan and peace.
President Karzai was set to address the United Nations General Assembly
in New York on Wednesday, but he cut short his U.S. trip and returned to
Afghanistan following Tuesday's attack.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Mr. Rabbani's assassination “in
the strongest possible terms.” He said the U.N. remains committed to
supporting Afghanistan and its people in attaining peace and stability
and to working in close cooperation with them.
In other violence, at least 10 policemen were killed in a bomb attack in
southern Ghazni province late Tuesday.
Officials say the police chief for Waghaz District was killed in the
attack, which occurred as police were conducting a search operation for
militants in an area building.
Also in the south, NATO says two of its service members were killed in
an insurgent attack. No further details were released.