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
Oh, yes, the starting whistle.
I remember a twinge of ominous foreboding when I heard this that weekend. Little did we imagine.
What an amazing post! FreeRepublic and FReepers ROCK!!
September 11, 2001 (9/11) - A lion cornered - The attack on Masood is bound to strengthen the Taleban
Bump, 5 years and 3 days later.