News / Asia

Chaotic Scene Marks Burial of Afghan Ex-President and Peacemaker

An Afghan security official escorts the coffin containing body of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the slain former President and head of High Peace Council, as the body is transported to the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 23, 2011.
An Afghan security official escorts the coffin containing body of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the slain former President and head of High Peace Council, as the body is transported to the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 23, 2011.

Thousands of mourners helped bury Afghanistan's former president and head peace broker with the Taliban, Burhanuddin Rabbani, days after he was killed by a suicide bomber at his home.

Friday's funeral in Kabul drew large crowds of people who pushed and shoved around Rabbani's coffin.  During the hilltop ceremony, dozens of Rabbani supports chanted angry slogans against the United States, Pakistan and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  Some even threw stones at Afghan security forces, prompting police to fire their guns into the air.

At one point, security guards tried to stop a Rabbani ally, former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, from joining the crowd.  Saleh shouted angrily, "a terrorist was allowed to enter and kill our leader, but we are not allowed to attend his burial."  He also vowed to take to the streets, saying the government does not have the right to talk with "enemies anymore," in a reference to Taliban reconciliation talks.

The scene was far different earlier on Friday at the presidential palace, where President Karzai told mourners that it is Afghanistan's responsibility to act against those who are "enemies of peace."

Rabbani, an ethnic Tajik, was killed Tuesday by a suicide bomber claiming to carry a reconciliation message from the Taliban.  The attacker hid explosives in his turban.

The former president was the head of Afghanistan's High Peace Council and was spearheading peace efforts with the Taliban.

Many fellow Tajiks attending Rabbani's funeral on Friday vowed to avenge his death.

Rabbani became president of a shaky mujahedeen coalition government in 1992 after the collapse of the country's Soviet-backed communist government.  His presidency ended in 1996, with the rise of the Taliban.

The former president then became the nominal head of the Northern Alliance, made up of Afghanistan's ethnic minorities.  The alliance joined with international forces in ousting the mainly ethnic-Pashtun Taliban from power in 2001.

President Karzai said Thursday the suicide bomber had presented officials with an audio message of a purported Taliban peace offer. He said he had listened to it before leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.  Karzai cut short his U.S. trip after Rabbani's assassination.

A spokesman for the Afghan intelligence agency said Thursday officials believe the Taliban's leadership body, the Quetta Shura, was behind the assassination.

There is conflicting information regarding the claim of responsibility.  A Taliban spokesman told the Reuters news agency that the group carried out the attack, but another Taliban spokesman rejected that claim and said the insurgent group would not comment on Rabbani's assassination.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid