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To: HAL9000
BBC News Online-

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.

5 posted on 09/09/2001 2:04:23 PM PDT by HAL9000
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To: HAL9000
From "Afghanistan This Week" -

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.

6 posted on 09/09/2001 2:16:31 PM PDT by HAL9000
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