Former Afghan President Assassinated by Suicide Bomber
This picture taken in Kabul on June 2, 2010 shows former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani attending a press conference. Photo by Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images.
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani and four of his bodyguards were killed when a suicide bomber, hiding explosives in a turban, blew himself up in Rabbani’s home. A senior aide, Masoom Stanekzai, was reportedly badly wounded in the attack. The former president was forced out of office in 1996 and became a leader in the Northern Alliance, opposing Taliban rule.
Rabbani had most recently led the High Peace Council, which over the last year had attempted to negotiate some sort of settlement, potentially including Taliban insurgents. According to the Associated Press:
His killing dampens hopes of starting peace negotiations with Taliban insurgents and also will hamper efforts to keep regional and ethnic rivalries, which feed the insurgency, in check.
President Hamid Karzai, who is attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York, is expected to cut his trip short to return to Afghanistan.