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. tonyl

    Make a deal with moderates to run their own nation, give them the tools, weapons and training to defend against the extremists and then let them battle it out among themselves. They are all the same will kill the enemy extremists and their supporters without regard to collateral damage which we are not able to do.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RIP

    Card from islam and taliban reads: "Rest In Pieces"

    September 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mit

    That dude blew his own head off... Damn, lol

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anakaraya23

      if you think about it that means he died even quicker than other bombers. It made his head explode. O.O *shudder* damn...
      But anyways, the poor guy who he killed... anyone who works for peace is a good guy in my book ( unless they are former murderers or rapists or.. ya you get the point)

      September 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. angryersmell

    "A bomb hidden in his turban," ...now where have I seen that before?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • André

      It's from a Muhammed's cartoon that created a huge amount of protests in the Arab World.
      I was gonna post about this 🙂

      September 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      I guess it's okay for these Wahhabi's to actually hide a bomb in their turban, but it's basphemous to draw a cartoon of it... all these dang rules, how am I supposed to ever know how to live under Sharia Law?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fugallah

    My friends, I must go now. But, I wish to leave you with the sacred words of the Prophet Muhammad given to him by the all powerful creator Allah! It is a warning of great magnitude and truth. As written in the quran, our most holy book of Allah's words, be careful of Genies. They are most meddlesome and troubling. You must pray for a shooting star from Allah. As the quran states in many places, shooting stars are lamps thrown as fiery missiles (ah, we love our missiles) at genies who try to fly up toward the sky in order to spy on Allah (Quran 37:6-10, 15:17-18, 67:5, 26:210-212). Thank you Allah, I hope that you are near a lamp store so that you can get more to replace the ones used to protect us.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaEd

      Yea gods your wordy.

      Make your threat and move on; don't talk us to death.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      ... does no one else realize the above poster was pointing out how silly these words from the Quran are?

      September 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • big rone

      hahaha... awwww they didn't realize it. Just read the word Quran and went into a hateful rant.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. New Mexico Man

    Watch out for those exploding turbans!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Realist

    My mind instantly went to the Dutch cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. UHhello

    Let them kill each other with Chinese and Russian weapons and training. America should get out of the business of War making and Nation building.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bimbo the Birthday Clown

    We should start a pool on the retaliation. I pick 11:45 AM GMT Sep 21 car bomb.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OregonTom

    I'm getting out a sketch pad right now.LOL

    September 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sam Golden

    After 10 years of Basic Training (our troops get 8 weeks) these Afghans obviously have NO interest in running a responsible, law and order, peace and prosperity country....this place is So Like South Viet Nam in the 1960's....they will take what we give them as long as we hand it out, when it comes to defending their own turf, they want nothing to do with it....we need to allow them to go back to their 13th Century tribal lifestyle and simply accept our losses and stop following the Soviet Union into bankruptcy....this dreadful place on the map ~ not even qualified to be called a country ~ will soon have taken down the last 2 Super Powers on the planet....

    September 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • rxs

      Is Afghanistan a dreadful place because the superpowers (5 of them) have failed there? Or are the superpowers dreadful themselves for carrying out emperial policy and attempting to colonize other nations?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nope

    whenever a muslim blows up another muslim, and no non-muslims were killed in the explosion – it's a win for us either way. nice one Mohammed!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. C Castine

    this whole equation of them blaming the west for killing their people which is why they kill ours has always baffled me. and now they are bombing a peace leader who welcomed them into his home. first of all, have these people heard of guns? they are nothing but murderers and prove again and again that they cannot be dealt with in terms other than death. if there was a way to kill them all i would support it.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jumper

    Well, you gotta give them props for creativity and devotion. . . the bomb in the turban sounds like the trend of the future.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      All the gangstas are gonna be wearing fuses this Fall... warm colors with a hint of a "safari theme" will be in all the department store windows!

      September 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CaEd

    They are tribal society and always will be.
    You either support the tribe or you are an enemy.
    This perception of support will change in a heart beat if and when the leaders make a better deal.

    We will not Westernize, Democratize or any other ize that you choose.

    Build a buffer zone, and shoot the refugees is about the only effective way of control.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • rxs

      Shoot the refugees? How humane and civilized of you.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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