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Washington Post: Former Afgan President Killed in suicide bombing


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Zahir said Rabbani’s killer was not searched because he was brought to the residence by senior members of the peace council. He said the council members thought the men, who arrived at the heavily-fortified residence at approximately 6 p.m., were representatives of the Taliban.

Before detonating the explosives, the suicide bomber lowered his head in an ostensible gesture of respect, the general added. “He was killed on the spot,” Zahir said, referring to Rabbani.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/key-afghan-peacemaker-rabbani-killed-in-kabul-bombing/2011/09/20/gIQAxlF9hK_story.html?hpid=z1

Geez, it sounds like something out of a movie.

Well, experts, what does this mean for Afghanistan? What does this mean for our people over there?

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http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/09/2011920124955977877.html

Blow to peace

President Karzai, who cut a trip to the United Nations short after hearing of the attack, strongly condemned the assassination.

Speaking at the start of talks with Barack Obama, the US president, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, he said Rabbani's death "will not deter us" from continuing the quest for peace.

Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, also condemned the attack in a joint statement.

Describing Rabbani as a "friend," the statement said: "The people of Pakistan stand by their Afghan brothers and sisters in this moment of grief."

Amrullah Saleh, a former intelligence chief who fought against the Taliban under Rabbani, told Al Jazeera the attacks showed the government's failure in protecting high-profile figures.

"These attacks tell us that the policy of appeasement and deal making with the Taliban and Pakistan is not going to lead to peace.

"By adapting a vague policy of so called reconcilation, [the government] has created confusion in our society and weakend the government to the extent that they can't even protect high-profiled leaders in the capital."

Rabbani's death could also unleash the resentment building up among some senior Northern Alliance members, who have critisiced Karzai for his peace efforts with the Taliban.

"If Karzai wants to keep Afghanistan united, he has to launch massive massive investigations and bring the culprits to justice."

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**** the Taliban.

There goes our exit strategy by the way....

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/20/us-afghanistan-attack-taliban-idUSTRE78J6AT20110920

Taliban says won Rabbani trust in order to kill him

(Reuters) - The Taliban said on Tuesday it had won assassinated former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani's trust by using a high-level team that feigned interest in talks but instead was intent on killing him.

A Taliban suicide bomber on Tuesday killed Rabbani, head of a council that was trying to negotiate a political end to the war, in what analysts called a blow to peace efforts.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility, saying the killer had gone to Rabbani's home for talks.

"As soon as Rabbani came three steps forward to hug Mohammad Masoom, he triggered his explosive-filled jacket killing Rabbani, (another) Taliban militant Wahid Yar and four security guards present at the house," he told Reuters.

The Kabul police chief's office, in a statement, said the explosives had been hidden in the suicide bomber's turban.

Mujahid said the Taliban's central leadership had appointed two "articulate and well-trained" fighters -- Masoom and Yar -- to build contacts with Rabbani.

He also told Reuters that Yar, a former minister when the Taliban were in power in Kabul, had visited Rabbani's home many times.

"Both of them were frequently meeting him at his Kabul home and secured trust of Rabbani and his guards. They were telling Rabbani that they would soon bring senior Taliban leadership to the negotiating table with him," Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

The Taliban frequently exaggerates battlefield exploits, but Mujahid's statements seemed to broadly match other accounts of the assassination.

Mujahid said the group had made similar plans for assassinating "more such people" in the near future.

Another couple of articles about the situation and some background info on the former pres:

http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/09/20/rabbanis_death_and_afghanistans_future

http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/20/7862671-taliban-flex-muscles-with-afghan-assassination

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It's been said before - life imitating art.

muhammadriotpics.jpg

The Kabul police chief's office, in a statement, said the explosives had been hidden in the suicide bomber's turban.

tur·ban (tûrbn)

n.

1. A traditionally Muslim headdress consisting of a long scarf of linen, cotton, or silk that is wound around a small cap or directly around the head.

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Sounds like this guy was a friend and an advocate for peace. How much is this going to effect things over there? What does this mean for our troops?

I think it means there's less of a chance of reconciliation with the Taliban now.

(if there was much if one to begin with, or if they ever really wanted to share power)

And negotiating with the Taliban was one of the two main keys to NATO and the US getting out of Afghanistan anytime soon.

The other key is for Afghanistan to be able to take over the security and military duties that we're doing now.

That's a mixed bag of sucess and failure so far.

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