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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid