Prayers for slain Rabbani

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends prayers for assassinated former leader Burhanuddin Rabbani after chaotic scenes at his burial

By REUTERS
September 24, 2011 13:52
1 minute read.
Hamid Karzai at funeral of Burhannudin Rabbani.

Karzai. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Hamid Karzai joined Afghan officials for a prayer ceremony for assassinated former President Burhannudin Rabbani on Saturday.

The incumbent Afghan president remained through the ceremony as different groups came and went.

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Karzai cut short his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York to return for Rabbani's funeral on Friday.

There were scenes of chaos and confrontation at the burial site when a former intelligence chief was stopped from getting there by guards loyal to Karzai.

A microphone was snatched from the hand of another mourner as he tried to address the crowd.

Live television coverage was abruptly cut as the tone of speeches became sharper.

Rabbani was assassinated at his home on Tuesday by a suicide bomber claiming to carry a message of peace from the Taliban leadership.



Karzai has come in for intense criticism from his political opponents who say he instructed Rabbani to meet with the assassin.

Karzai's office say he was not involved.

Karzai appointed Rabbani to head the High Peace Council last October.

Rabbani's death has given rise to fears of dangerous divisions among Afghans fighting the Taliban-led insurgency.

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