Taliban: Peace Talks Lured Rabbani to His Doom

Assassin promised to bring Taliban leaders to the table
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2011 5:55 AM CDT
Burhanuddin Rabbani speaks to reporters in Kabul in this 2001 photo.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated yesterday by a pair of "articulate and well-trained" fighters who won his trust by promising peace talks, a Taliban spokesman gloats. The killer—a suicide attacker who blew up a bomb in his turban—and his accomplice "were telling Rabbani that they would soon bring senior Taliban leadership to the negotiating table with him," the spokesman tells Reuters, which notes that his account of the killing is similar to those from more trusted sources.

The Taliban is planning to assassinate "more such people" in future, the spokesman says. Rabbani, who served as president from 1992 to 1996, was head of a team trying to negotiate a political end to the war and his death is seen as a major blow to peace efforts. President Hamid Karzai called Rabbani a martyr for peace, and hundreds of Afghans today gathered in Kabul to protest his assassination, Voice of America reports.

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