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.
September 11, 2001 (9/11) - A lion cornered - The attack on Masood is bound to strengthen the Taleban