Burhanuddin Rabbani Killed by Suicide Bomber

Former Afghanistan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed in his Kubul home on Tuesday by a suicide bomber who had concealed explosives in his turban, officials say.

Reports by BBC said that Rabbani had been meeting with two key members of the Taliban when the explosion occurred, detonated as one of the attackers – thought to be emissaries bringing “special messages” – embraced Rabbani – head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council established last year by current Afgan President Hamid Karzai – in greeting.

President Karzai, who is in New York for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, insisted the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan would not be derailed by the bombing, the second attack within a week in Kabul’s supposedly secure diplomatic zone.

“This will not deter us from continuing down the path we have started,” said Karzai, who described Rabbani as “an Afghan patriot who sacrificed his life” for peace.

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Despite Karzai’s optimism, Michael Semple, a Taliban expert and former deputy EU special representative to Afghanistan, described Rabbani’s assassination as “one of the biggest blows the peace process in Afghanistan has faced.”

“[It] raises the question of whether there is the space for Afghans to talk and whether they can avoid a civil war,” Semple said.

via LA Times
Image:Bloomberg