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. Snave

    I must be clear by now that no amount of diplomacy, country buiiding or military action is going to change the fundamental hostilities and ethic differences that exist in Afghanistan. We need to leave as soon as possible and leave them to their own devices.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      "hostilities and ethic differences that exist in Afghanistan." --- Add the whole region to the list.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Listen

    Afghanistan has never been tamed and never will be. It's not meant to be. It is a place where many different people can live together from all walks of life, religions, and ethnicities just fine until someone comes in and tries to build a pipeline from the Caspian to the Arabian sea. This is why we've been there since the 50s- first to keep our Soviet enemies close, and to keep them from building the pipeline first. This 'war' is just another act in the saga to develop the pipeline. Soldiers, walk away and come home, or get on the Unocal/Chevron payroll if you like it there so much. There's a job opening since Karzai left to become president of Afghanistan. Coincidence? Hmmm.

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

      I agree, it is like an anus, a pit,the garbage dump that space that just exists because there has to be a bottom to compare all things better.All things have this attribute and so this is our planets anus. Continual wiping will only give us hemorrhoids.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hmntrffc

    one man's religious head-wear is another man's religious warfare.

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

      Looks like it's not just a Danish cartoon anymore

      September 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. timestickin

    A bomb in his turbin?????????? are you kidden me?? hahahahahahahaha Idiot.. Keep doing full body searches at the airports -please...

    September 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AGeek

    The Religion of Peace strikes again.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. André

    Sikhs and Hindus wear turbans. Not arabs.

    The thing arabs wear is called something different.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Yup, keffiyeh

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

      But, also, Afghans are not Arabs, they're mainly Pashtun

      September 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rxs

    Most posts have overlooked the root of the problem and how things went so wrong in the first place.
    To Beverely...The Taliban have not been there since the start. The Taliban didn't fight the Birtish nor the Soviets.
    The Taliban was funded and created by the U.S., Sauadia Arabia, and Pakistan during the early 90s and following the fall of the Soviet Union. Muslim fundamentalism was introduced to that region by the three allies. Most Taliban are were trained in Maddrassas (religious schools) which were funded during the Soviet War. Osama and Huessien at points were U.S. allies.
    It seems the U.S. and its allies have created a monster that they can't even control.
    This is a direct result of emperial powers doing what they think is in their best interest without any regard for future implications and innocent civilians.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveinCincy

      ....So looks like the Danish cartoonist was EXACTLY RIGHT!!!. I guess you owe him a great big Muslim appology.

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

    This is so sad. Will there ever be peace in that land? Why can't they leave people alone to live their lives? These murderers are nothing but criminals and there is too much evil and murdering in the world. It's horrible. Poor man, a man of peace.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • RLTW

      You do realize they have been in an almost non stop state of war for almost 40 years, right? And for the record, head of the peace council does not equate to man of peace. He was no Ghandi. I take it you have never been to Afghanistan.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John-ur-a-tool

    "a bomb hidden in his attackers turbin"? And Muslims want to know why they draw attention at an airport?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. al

    wonderful an very good article!!
    Didn't know their were so many dam expert on AFGHANISTAN!!!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. avocet

    Well, I guess we know why the Taliban was taking part in peace talks.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yannaes

    How many billions have we spent and a guy has a bomb in his turban and it blows. What a travesty!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Weatherbrain

    Damaging blow – do you think? Wow dumb and dumber. You'd have to stripe these animals naked and give them a CAT scan before you could get 20 feet from 'em. They are a disgrace to humanity. i think if islam is the answer to christianity then i would rather see the world end completely. I'm sorry but for civilized nations to tolerate this obscenity of a religion is too much. And if this is the legacy of religion I would rather we all be die-hard atheists. Here was a true gentleman, a champion of his country, caring for its future, and these pieces of sh8t murder him. You can thank karsai for this too and I am sure he will be next, he should have been the first as he is as much or more a criminal as his dead brother was and another failed puppet of american incompetence. i feel numb over this endless hell for Afghanistan, a country so stupid and getting moreso as the lunatics kill the few sane left.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. FauxNews

    The old "bomb in the turban" trick.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jose

    Anyone remember the danish cartoon where the prophet Muhummad had a bomb for a turba
    n >>

    September 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
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