Ex-Afghanistan president assassinated
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani in 2008
September 20th, 2011
12:12 PM ET

Ex-Afghanistan president assassinated

An Afghan political figure considered vital to peace efforts in the country was assassinated Tuesday, officials said.

Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former Afghan president who had been leading the Afghan peace council, died when a suicide bomber detonated inside his home in Kabul, said Mohammad Zahir, chief of investigations for Kabul police. The attacker wore a suicide vest, Zahir said.

Government officials told NATO's International Security Assistance Force that Rabbani was killed, and a top adviser of his, Masoom Stanekzai, is believed to be badly wounded, a senior ISAF official told CNN.

Rabbani was long considered crucial to Afghan and coalition efforts to bring Taliban leaders into the reconciliation process.

Arsala Rahmani, a member of the peace council, also confirmed to CNN that Rabbani was killed.

A doctor at a 400-bed hospital in Kabul said, "We have received three people from the blast at Rabbani's house. Among the injured are Masoom Stanekzai, one body guard and an assistant" to Rabbani.

The loud explosion heard in the attack on the home prompted temporary lockdowns at the nearby U.S. Embassy and ISAF headquarters as officials investigated the source of the blast.

Personnel at the U.S. Embassy were instructed to take cover late Tuesday afternoon due to an incident outside the embassy's perimeter, an embassy spokesman said.

"It appears at this time that the embassy was not the target of the incident," spokesman Gavin Sundwall said in a statement. "We are working to account for all embassy personnel and staff."

ISAF headquarters was on lockdown for about 30 minutes, an ISAF spokesman said.

People at the headquarters heard a couple of deep booms followed by sirens, the spokesman said.

Rabbani has been heading the United National Front Party, the largest political party that stands in opposition to President Hamid Karzai.

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Filed under: Taliban
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. John Brooks ( US Marines)

    Death is our friend in Afghanistan. It looks at you and all you can do is smile back. Death to all Islam

    October 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ISLAM


    September 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pamiri

    Before killing of Rabani, Karzai called to Rabani from USA to meet one of the Taliban memeber, he was the one who killed Rabanni and when suciude happened Masoom Stanekzai was in room, whee Rabani was killed, before the attack he got out of the room??? it rais a lots of question amongest the Afghans, Why Karzai called to Rabani to meet the Taliban member and what is the connection between Karzai is calling and not being of Stanekzai during the attack, clearly it shows that Karzai is the one of Pakistan and ISI's allies and Stanikazai is too, and they should be prosecuted soon, otherewise the time would be late ,

    from Kabul

    September 21, 2011 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. 000

    Wonder what rationale the murderer had to justify such sabotage of the peace initiative.

    Obviously peace is NOT wanted for some bizarre reason.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.A.N.

      No these people DO NOT want peace, they want control again to enforce their religious beliefs on the people. They kill people who work for peace because they think their doing God a favor by killing anybody who DOES NOT FOLLOW strict Islamic laws. The religious fact is that God has sacrificed His only son for everyone's sins and the only way to please Him is to come to this acknowledgement and become more Christlike with love, compassion and forgiveness for all people! GOD DOES NOT REJOICE IN THE DEATH OF A SINNER! HE ONLY REJOICES WHEN PEOPLE COME TO KNOW HIS SON AND TURN AWAY FROM SIN! NEVER WHEN ONE COMMITS SIN AS THESE SUICIDE BOMBERS, TALIBAN AND THEIR TERRORIST ALLIES DO!

      September 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • 000

        Whatever he did, he did not deserve to be murdered.

        September 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • 000

        No it does not. At NO time is murder the right thing to do. Of course, that very concept, that to kill someone is right, is what is profoundly wrong with ugly islam.

        September 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • 000

        No, no, and no again. NO excuse (and that's what it is) for murder.


        A culture or world view (islam) that thinks murder is ok is a sick, perverted way to live and "believe."
        Reasonable people will reject this miserable, ugly view, thank God.

        September 21, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |