Turban bomb kills key Afghan political leader
Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani is shown in a 2008 photo.
September 20th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

Turban bomb kills key Afghan political leader

[Update 1:51 p.m. ET] NATO's International Security Assistance Force said two suicide bombers detonated themselves in the attack that killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani at his home in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon.

Afghan officials earlier said there was one bomber. That attacker, who claimed to be a Taliban member who had come for talks about peace and reconciliation, hid the explosive device inside his turban, said Hasmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

Rabbani was president of Afghanistan before the Taliban deposed him in 1996, and he had been heading the largest political party standing in opposition to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Rabbani was long considered crucial to Afghan and coalition efforts to bring Taliban leaders into the reconciliation process.

[Update 1:46 p.m. ET] Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Burhanuddin Rabbani's killing a "very tragic loss" for his country.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, where world leaders are preparing to speak to the U.N. General Assembly this week, Karzai described Rabbani as "an Afghan patriot" who "has sacrificed his life for the sake of Afghanistan and for the peace of our country."

[Update 1:21 p.m. ET] The suicide bombing that killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon shows that the Taliban don't want peace with the Afghan government, said Gen. John R. Allen, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

"This is another outrageous indicator that, regardless of what Taliban leadership outside the country say, they do not want peace, but rather war," Allen said in a statement released Tuesday. "Their only goal with this completely immoral act is to turn the clock back to the darkness synonymous with the Taliban movement.

A suicide bombing killed Rabbani and wounded council official Masoom Stanikzai and three others at Rabbani's home in Kabul, Afghan authorities said. The attack happened when a meeting was due to take place between Rabbani and a delegation representing the Taliban insurgency.

The suicide bomber claimed to be a Taliban member who had come for the talks about peace and reconciliation, and detonated the explosives as he entered the home, said Hasmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

"Our condolences go out to the families of Prof. Rabbani and Minister Stanikzai," Allen said. "We will continue to work closely with our Afghan partners in our march toward peace, and to hold those responsible for this heinous act accountable for their crimes against the people of Afghanistan."

[Update 12:57 p.m. ET] The suicide bomber who killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani and wounded one of Rabbani's top advisers on Tuesday had hidden the explosive device in his turban, Kabul police spokesman Hasmat Stanikzai has confirmed.

The attack happened at Rabbani's home in Kabul as he was meeting with Taliban elements that he believed wanted reconciliation, a senior official with NATO's International Security Assistance Force said earlier.

Four other people were wounded, including Masoom Stanikzai, the peace council's secretary and a key adviser to Rabbani, the police spokesman said.

[Update 12:10 p.m. ET] Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of Afghanistan's peace council who authorities said was killed in a suicide bombing at his house in Kabul Tuesday, was meeting with Taliban elements he believed wanted reconciliation when the attack happened, a senior ISAF official said.

Rabbani, a former president of Afghanistan, was "known for welcoming others in the traditional way," the official said. "We don't know if the visitors were even checked for weapons."

A top Rabbani adviser, Masoom Stanekzai, is believed to be badly wounded, a senior ISAF official told CNN. A doctor at a 400-bed hospital in Kabul said that two other people - a bodyguard and an assistant to Rabbani - also were injured.

[Update 11:52 a.m. ET] Tuesday's attack that killed Burhanuddin Rabbani - a former Afghan president who headed Afghanistan's High Peace Council - was a suicide bombing inside his home in Kabul, said Mohammad Zahir, chief of investigations for Kabul police.

The bomber arrived at Rabbani's house at the same time a meeting was due to take place between Rabbani and a delegation representing the Taliban insurgency, an Afghan intelligence source told CNN.

The same source said it was unclear how the bomber got inside the house, but the bomber detonated a device that was concealed within his turban.

[Update 10:51 a.m. ET] Burhanuddin Rabbani, a key political figure in Afghanistan, was killed in an attack on his home Tuesday, a member of Afghanistan's peace council said.  The attack on the home triggered temporary lockdowns at the U.S. Embassy and headquarters of NATO's International Security Assistance Force as authorities investigated the sound of an explosion and what the target had been.

Rabbani, a former Afghan president, headed the country's High Peace Council.

[Update 10:45 a.m. ET] Personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, were instructed to take cover Tuesday due to an incident outside the embassy's perimeter, an embassy spokesman said. It appears the embassy was not the target of the incident, the spokesman said.

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soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. cyg

    When Haliburton puts all of america's unemployed to work overseas – this won't happen anymore. We have more than enough unemployed to wipe these folks out, take over their natural resources, contaminate their land with no regulated mining practices....we are WELL on our way.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      cyg-
      You're forgetting one important fact. THE AFGHANIS ARE SELLING ALL THE RIGHTS TO CHINA. The good 'ol USA hasn't received any of the big mineral contracts. Zero.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      A bomb in the turban...how about that.
      Isn't this the very cartoon they were so upset about a few years back?
      I guess they didn't want anyone to suspect their future plans.
      Let's ban the turban along with the burqua.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. morbus gravis

    Afghan men wear a variety of turbans, known as Lungee. Lungee is worn in Afghanistan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, especially in the tribal areas. The lungee is usually worn in tribal meetings, but a majority of Pashtuns prefer to wear it in everyday life too.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • American_Fury

      Who cares you moron?. They wear it cause they don't want to shower or groom themselves. Iradicate them all. Filty rag head swine. Bbq pork sammy anyone?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Love the Johnny Carson comment!

    September 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chris

    so why dont we say there a peace deal only if taliban meet then bomb them back

    September 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. morbus gravis

    there should be more arguments if these head wraps are turbans or not......apparently turbans are worn all around the world by various people, has nothing to do with religion for the most part

    September 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. morbus gravis

    Kurdish people wear a turban which they call a Jamadani. The Jamadani is worn in many different ways across Kurdistan depending on the style of the locality e.g. the Barzani Kurds are a tribe which wear the turban in a colour (red and white) and style which is typical of their clan. Mostly Kurdish turban consists of a length of striped cloth known as kolāḡī wound around a conical hat; the tassels that border the kolāḡī are allowed to hang down over the face.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Turbinastan

      HUH? Nobody really cares about the different types of towels they wrap around their skulls. Next your going to tell us the different types of beards they sport. NEXT!!

      September 20, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Duane

    Peaceful Muslims being killed by Muslims.....what a screwed up religion

    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Yeah, it's so much worse than the xtians killing xtians, right?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Turbinastan

    Bomb di da bomb da bomb da bomb di da bomb in my turban.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Copper's Donut Shoppe

    And we are going to bring democracy to this country? Civilize them? Get thm to switch from dung beetles to big macs?
    I generally have nothing but distain for all politicians ~ commies, dems, repup, libertarians, progressives ~ all are full of self-serving bs.
    But I grew weak ~ I denounced my desire for anarchy. I actually believed Barak "the liar" Obama when he said he would end this abomination and bring our poor young targets home. He has been corrupted by the cowtowing of servants ~ the private resorts loaned by millionaires ~ the good stock tips and secret trust funds for his children.
    He is too corrupt to do anything he lied he would do.
    I won't get weak again.
    Anarchy in America.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Darmell

    What's the big deal? Prop him up in a chair, rig his mouth with wires, and he can still be America's puppet.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. joe

    I smell poop

    September 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Whipple

      wipe better

      September 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chedar

    Wow, Now the homeland security and the TSA will have to worry about Xray in the head for anyone who wears a turban and not only in their "junk" .

    September 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. viki

    Radical 'islam' small 'I' is at war with rest of the world. They cannot leave Afghanistan or Pakistan it is land of the stupid people people with inflated ego that knows no bounds. False pride and half baked religion, ton of Warriors and hostile culture developed from past thousand years or more of wars !
    So this is a incubator of all things 'terrorism' at its best. It is Dante's hell for those who needs some extra dramatization.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. DetroitFrank

    2 more Moo-Slimes on their way to meet their Virginias. More air for us to breath.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Darmell

    That dude's beard is fake. Plus he wears women's underwear.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
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