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.

soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. cellblock131

    One more mentally challenged suicide bomber goes to he!!.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Trigger

    Missed me by thaaaaat much! lol

    September 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trigger

      Last comment about Maxwell Smart. It did not post as a reply as intended.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Truth B Known

    So the bomber now has 1 thing in common with John and Ted Kennedy... half a brain.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sal

    We should get the el out of Afghanistan NOW! There is nothing that can be done for that country, and no matter how many of these idiots we kill there are always more idiots to take their place! You cannot defeat religious fanatics! 

    September 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yup

    Dont you think its time to give them the war they really want with no mercey. Thease are not religious people, they are just killers who praise death, lie and play the hit and run game, the cowards will fold once the pressure is really on....they begged before and we let them off WHY ????

    September 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. snowdogg

    Get the U.S. out of this quagmire – NOW

    September 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. buck

    Ban turbans

    September 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sal

    They are reliigious fanatics and we can't defeat a religion period!  It's past time to get out of there now. My spelling is correct at least.........

    September 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sal

    Unless some of these posters spelling is typos, I am amazed how many people can't spell......

    September 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    lol the Afghan war is useless and endless, Afghan Gov top officials are being killed one by one, only Karzai is left. What is the use?!

    September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Smokingman

    So the cartoon in Sweden was appropriate.... Turban bomb

    September 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      Duh! it was not Sweden, it was Denmark.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Barry G.

    All Muslims and Arabs should condemn this wicked act.

    Remaining silent or failing to condemn such evil behavior shows either tacit approval or ambivalence (mixed feelings and thoughts).

    Let us know where you stand!

    Do you approve such actions?

    Speak up!

    September 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      As Muslims we do condemns all kind of violence. The problems is that medias (TV, newspapers, etc..) are not interested in this and only like to show what attract more audience. So the focus is only on a very tiny minority in the Muslim world.
      By the way, I do not think it is nice to call other human beings "animals". After all, the US is in Afghanistan not for the sake of peace or freedom; it is all about controlling that region and reducing the power of Iran and Russia. If you read the history of Afghan, you will notice that they do not like foreigners who come to rule them. For them it is a matter of honor and pride. The Russians and the UK fail miserably. This what the US government could not understand. I really feel bad for the US soldiers who die in Afghanistan thinking that they are doing the right thing. They are brave and honest soldiers, but ruled by arrogant government with hidden agenda.

      One thing that stupid Ben Laden did not understand is that there is a huge difference between americain people and US government.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian W.

      They all silently support their terrorist brothers and sisters.....sure they tell everyone they are all not like that and it is a small percentage of them who are terrorists....but we never see them outraged or angry that such a small percentage has made their "religion of peace" a byword for terror. They refuse to clean house and to rid themselves of this supposedly minor faction?....the reason why is that they all secretly condone it.....they all would love nothing more than to be terrorists and remove or forcibly convert all the infidels of the world...the vast bulk just lack the balls to act on it, and so they allow the fanatical goups free reign to continue.......not out of fear but because they admire them and support them....They just act all upset and against it when a reporter or journalist is nearby....get them around their fellow Muslims without others around and.....

      September 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Darmell

    This just shows how desperate the terrorists are. America is winning.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jin-Wang

      Darmell: You are a good representative sample of how ignorant and naive most of our US citizens are.

      September 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jin-Wang

      You are a good representative sample of how ignorant and naive most of our US citizens are.

      September 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jrm

    Apparently, the drones are working very well. Sad as this is, the focus on cheaply done high value attacks indicates an insurgency on the ropes.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Get Real 101

    This clearly means that all Muslims-both male and female- will have to remove all head coverings before boarding planes.

    September 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
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