Skip to comments.Afghanistan - Opposition's military chief Ahmed Shah Massood injured in bomb explosion
Posted on 09/09/2001 12:34:59 PM PDT by HAL9000
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Opposition leader and former defense chief Ahmed Shah Massood was injured and his close aide was killed Sunday in an explosion in northern Afghanistan, said Hajji Kahar, an opposition spokesman.
Two men from Algeria posing as journalists apparently hid the explosive device in their camera, Kahar told The Associated Press in a satellite telephone interview from Khodja Bahauddin in northern Takhar province, where the explosion occurred.
It's not clear whether the two men with the camera were killed. It's believed they were suicide bombers.
"There was a lot of noise and smoke," said Kahar.
Massood has repeatedly accused the Taliban of using foreign warriors, particularly from Arab countries and neighboring Pakistan, on the battlefield. The Taliban deny the charge.
"In the early afternoon we were very afraid" because it was not immediately clear the extent of Massood's injuries, said his ambassador in Paris, Mehrab Mastan, also contacted by telephone.
According to Mastan, Massood received leg injuries.
Kahar said Massood went to Tajikistan after the explosion. It's not known whether he went there for treatment.
Azim Suhail, one of Massood's spokesmen, was killed in the explosion, said Mastan.
There was no immediate comment from Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, who rule most of Afghanistan and are trying to defeat Massood's forces in the northern parts of the country.
Massood heads an alliance of several small parties, largely formed along ethnic lines.
From 1992 to 1996, Massood was the defense minister in ousted president Burhanuddin Rabbani's government, which was own out of Kabul by the hard-line Taliban army.
Until last year, Rabbani's so-called government-in-exile was headquartered in Taloqan, the capital of northern Takhar province. The Taliban overran Taloqan last year and drove Rabbani's government-in-exile to one of its last remaining strongholds in northern Badakhshan province.
Since then Massood's forces have tried to retake Taloqan but have been held back by Taliban troops.
In recent weeks fighting in the region has intensified, although neither side has reportedly made any major gains.
Rabbani's government-in-exile operates several embassies, including one in Paris and in London.
The Taliban, who are recognized by only three governments, maintains only one embassy in Pakistan.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press, All rights reserved
Monday, September 10 1:32 AM SGT
Masood wounded by booby-trapped video camera: Afghan diplomat
MOSCOW, Sept 9 (AFP) -
Afghan opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood was wounded Sunday in northern Afghanistan when a bomb concealed in a video camera went off while he was being interviewed by a group of journalists, a source at the Afghan embassy in Dushanbe told AFP.
The incident, which happened at his heavily-guarded residence in Khwaja Bahauddin, killed an official from Masood's opposition forces and wounded Masood in the leg, the source added.
Earlier, Interfax reported, also citing an Afghan embassy source in the Tajik capital, that Masood had been wounded when his vehicle was hit by an explosion near the frontline.
Leader of Afghan Northern Alliance Masud wounded
DUSHANBE. Sept 9 (Interfax) - Leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance Ahmad Shah Masud was wounded as his automobile was blasted near the Afghan village of Hodja Bahautdin in the Takhar province on Sunday afternoon.
Masud "was been wounded and is alive, but one of his bodyguards was killed," a source with the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe has told Interfax.
The explosion took place near the frontline lying along the Kokcha river.
Russian military sources in Tajikistan have confirmed the information about Masud's wounding.
Sunday, 9 September, 2001, 20:56 GMT 21:56 UK
Blast injures Afghan opposition chief
The main commander of the anti-Taleban forces in Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Massood, has been injured in an explosion near his home in the north of the country.
Sources close to commander Masood say he has been taken to hospital in neighbouring Tajikistan. He was said to have been injured in the leg.
According to one report, Mr Masood was giving an interview to some Arab journalists in northern Takhar province when a bomb went off. It had been concealed in a video camera.
A close aide was killed in the blast.
There has been no official statement about what happened.
According to Russian news agency reports, Mr Masood was injured when his vehicle was hit by an explosion near the frontline.
'Lion of Panjshir'
Mr Masood, known as the "Lion of the Panjshir" is a veteran commander of the opposition Northern Alliance. His forces remain loyal to the ousted government of Burhanuddin Rabbani.
The 49-year-old ethnic Tajik commander is widely regarded as the last bulwark against the ruling Taleban.
In the past year, Taleban forces have pushed north and now control some 90% of Afghanistan. Both sides are trying to gain and secure ground before the winter sets in.
Heavy fighting has taken place recently in Takhar and in areas close to the Tajik border.
Mr Masood played a major role in the Afghan resistance to Soviet occupation in 1979-1989.
Ahmad Shah Masood Is Safe
By Ahmad Lais ( Afghanistan This Week ): On sunday Mr. Ahmad Shah Masood the supreme leader of Afghanistan's United Front was injured in an explosion while giving interview to two Algerian journalists.
A very close source to United Front in Moscow said that this two algerian sucide bombers were belonging to Osama Bin Laden. He said that one of these men have died and the other one is arrested.
The source also confirmed that one of Mr. Masood's body guards was killed in the explosion. Mr. Masood was in his consious and he was able to talk.
Monday, September 10 4:49 AM SGT
Masood injured in suicide bomb attack, bombers dead: spokesman
KABUL, Sept 10 (AFP) -
Afghan opposition commander Ahmad Shah Masood was treated by doctors for "minor injuries" following an assassination attempt which killed two suicide bombers, his spokesman told AFP late Sunday.
Masood was being treated at his heavily-guarded Khwaja Bahauddin residence in the north of the country, Waisuddin Salik said by satellite phone.
He said the two perpetrators of the "suicide attack" against Masood were killed when a booby-trapped camera they were handling exploded.
The assassination attempt was carried out Sunday by two Arabs claiming to be journalists who wished to interview the opposition commander, the spokesman said.
"The suicide attack killed the two Arabs and slightly injured the commander," said Waisuddin Salik. "The commander's state of health was not giving cause for concern," he added.
"The bomb had been cleverly hidden in the camera and it exploded."
A source at the Afghan embassy in Dushanbe earlier told AFP the incident killed an official from Masood's opposition forces and wounded Masood in the leg.
The 49-year-old ethnic Tajik commander, seen as the last bulwark against the ruling Taliban militia in Afghanistan, was "feeling fine," the embassy source added.
"This afternoon, Masood gave an interview in his office to a group of Arab journalists who arrived from Kabul. When the camera started filming, it exploded. It looks like a bomb had been concealed in it," the source said.
The extremist Taliban Islamic militia captured Kabul in 1996, and now controls about 95 percent of the country.
But Masood's forces, a loose coalition of mainly ethnic Uzbek and Tajik commanders, continue to resist the Taliban in the far north of the war-ravaged country.
The Taliban administration is recognized only by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Masood became known as the "Lion of Panjsher" for doggedly resisting Soviet attempts during their 1979-89 invasion to take his stronghold of the Panjsher valley, north of Kabul, which he continues to control. Defence minister under President Burhanuddin Rabbani's government, he was forced into the hills after the Taliban captured Kabul and ousted the Rabbani administration. The Afghan embassy in Dushanbe represents the government-in-exile. A familiar face internationally, always pictured wearing his trademark brown Afghan woollen hat, Masood was given a hero's reception during a landmark visit to France earlier this year to drum up support for the Afghan opposition.
In an interview with AFP in Khwaja Bahauddin in June, he voiced confidence that his forces would regain the initiative against the Taliban and voiced ambitions of leading his country one day.
"If it is to my country's benefit, this could happen," Masood said.
I hope Hamid Karzai does well. He seems to be off to a good start.
Fourth Anniversary Bump
You were a busy boy back in Sept 2001. All kinds of facinating posts.