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BURHANUDDIN RABBANI KILLED IN HIS HOME IN KABUL

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The chairman of the Afghan HIgh Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani, has been killed with several others in a bomb attack in Kabul, officials said on Tuesday 09/20/2011 (see – Peace Jirga ).

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Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan President in the years 1992-6, who was ousted from his position by the Taliban and a close ally to president Hamid Karzai, was killed at his home by a suicide attacker who officials suspect had concealed a bomb in his turban (see also – Ghulam H. Hameed). Burhanuddin Rabbani and his security advisor Masoom Stanakzai were meeting two members of the Taliban at the time of the blast.

A senior advisor to the peace council, Masoom Stanakzai, is also thought to have been seriously wounded in the attack.

On hearing the news, Afghan President Hamid Karzai cancelled his trip to the US mid-flight. He is now returning to Kabul.

Burhanuddin Rabbani’s residence is in a well-to-do district of Kabul, on the edge of a high security area close to the US embassy and the district where the Taliban launched a 20-hour attack last week, leaving 25 dead (see – Kabul 09.13.11 ).

The attack is likely to fuel concerns over security in the capital. Counter terror officials have said that they assume the Taliban visitors were the suicide attackers but add that it is still too early to draw any definite conclusions.

When the High Peace Council was set up, Mr Karzai described it as the greatest hope for the Afghan people and called on the Taliban to seize the opportunity and help bring peace. But many members of the council are former warlords who spent years fighting the Taliban and their inclusion led to doubts as to whether it could succeed in its mission (see – Jirga 06.05.10 ).

Burhanuddin Rabbani recently spoke at a religious conference in Iran and called on Muslim scholars to speak out against suicide attacks (see – U.S 2011 Policy ).

The killing is just the latest in a series of assassinations of senior politicians from Hamid Karzai’s inner circle and security commanders across the country.

In July, President Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai was killed at his home in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, by his own head of security (see – Karzai 07.12.11). Two months earlier, General Daud Daud, the top police commander in northern Afghanistan was killed in a suicide bomb attack (see – Takhar 05.18.11 ).

It is obvious the Taliban and alike managed to penetrate all security measures times and again casting doubt about the survivability of Karzai’s regime without the American support.
** Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) played a role in the assassination of Afghan Peace Council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani, Afghanistan’s Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi has said, on Sunday 10/02/2011. The Interior Minister, giving testimony in parliament, also said that a key person involved in the plot of Rabbani’s assassination- Hameedullah Akhondzada- has been arrested
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The Afghan government said its investigations show that the killer of Burhanuddin Rabbani was a Pakistani. Evidence from the case showed the murder was plotted in the Pakistani city of Quetta, a statement said.
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** On Friday 02/10/2012, an Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive case, said two individuals were arrested in Quetta last week. Another official said the two were on the list of possible suspects handed to Pakistani authorities last year.

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