Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Turban Suicide Bomber Does Not Kill Peace Hopes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Turban Suicide Bomber Does Not Kill Peace Hopes

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Fox in Helmand

THE assassination of former Afghan president and leading peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani is a blow to President Karzai's government and the gambit to come to a peace deal with the Taliban.

It is the latest of a series of assassinations this summer of key figures in the Karzai family and its political entourage, including his own brother Ahmed Walid Karzai and the mayor of Kandahar.

The murder of Mr Rabbani, carried out by a man posing as a Taliban negotiator with a bomb in his turban, is in line with a string of killings and attacks on landmark buildings by the Haqqani clan of the Taliban.

The Haqqani are now recognised as the best organised single element in the Taliban, liberally supported by the Pakistan intelligence agency, the ISI, and elements of the Pakistan army. The Haqqani are involved in almost a private war with American ISAF forces in eastern Afghanistan, supported by Pakistan artillery. …

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