On peace day, Afghans bury murdered peace broker

By REUTERS
September 21, 2011 10:26

 
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KABUL - Afghans gathered to mourn their assassinated former President and chief peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani on Wednesday, world peace day, as fears mounted that his death could worsen ethnic divisions and nudge the country towards civil war.

Rabbani, perhaps the most prominent Afghan to be killed since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, died at his home early on Tuesday evening after a suicide bomber detonated explosives concealed in a turban.

The killing was a strong statement of Taliban opposition to peace talks, and the latest in a string of high-profile assassinations to shake the confidence of ordinary Afghans that security can be improved.

Since Rabbani was a prominent Tajik, his killing is also likely to exacerbate ethnic divides, which in themselves could do more to halt any peace process than the death of a man who while influential, had so far produced limited evidence of concrete steps towards negotiations

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