HEAD­BANGER!

Afghan peace boss killed by ex­plod­ing tur­ban

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By BAR­NEY SA­MUELS in Kabul

THE former pres­i­dent of Afghanistan has been killed by a sui­cide bomber wear­ing an ex­plod­ing TUR­BAN!

Burhanud­din Rab­bani, chair­man of the Afghan High Peace Coun­cil, was blown to smithereens dur­ing a meet­ing with two Tal­iban rep­re­sen­ta­tives at his Kabul home.

It is un­clear if the Tal­iban men were in­volved in the at­tack.

The High Peace Coun­cil leads Afghan ef­forts to ne­go­ti­ate with the Tal­iban.

Mr Rab­bani ( left) is a former pres­i­dent of Afghanistan and also led the main po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion in the coun­try.

A se­nior ad­vi­sor to the peace coun­cil is also thought to have been se­ri­ously wounded in the at­tack.

When the peace coun­cil was set up, Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai de­scribed it as the great­est hope for the Afghan peo­ple and called on the Tal­iban to seize the op­por­tu­nity and help bring peace.

Ousted

But many mem­bers are former war­lords who spent years fight­ing the Tal­iban and their in­clu­sion led to doubts as to whether it could suc­ceed.

Mr Rab­bani re­cently spoke at a re­li­gious con­fer­ence in Iran and called on Mus­lim schol­ars to speak out against sui­cide at­tacks.

He was ousted as pres­i­dent by the Tal­iban in 1996. Af­ter that he be­came the nom­i­nal head of the anti-Tal­iban North­ern Al­liance, made of mostly non-Pash­tun eth­nic groups.

When they swept back into Kabul, backed by US forces, and top­pled the Tal­iban in 2001, he was still recog­nised by the UN as the of­fi­cial pres­i­dent of Afghanistan.

But he was a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure — in the 1970s, it was Mr Rab­bani who founded the par­ties that be­came the Afghan mu­jahideen.

Lo­cal sources say that many Afghans blame him and his friends for the death and de­struc­tion of the civil war days.

The Tal­iban have wanted Mr Rab­bani dead for some time and many were sur­prised when he was put in charge of the peace talks.

PANIC: Afghan se­cu­rity forces af­ter blast that killed Rab­bani

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