Kabul: The suicide bomber who assassinated
former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani insisted on
meeting face-to-face with the ex-president and waited in Kabul
for days to talk with him about brokering peace with the
Taliban, an associate of Rabbani`s said on Wednesday.
Mohammad Ismail Qasemyar, the international relations
adviser for the peace council, said the bomber, identified as
Esmatullah, had approached several council officials, telling
them that he was an important figure in the Taliban insurgency
and would only speak directly with Rabbani.
"He wanted to talk about peace with Professor Rabbani,"
Qasemyar said the bomber stayed at a house used for
guests of the peace council while waiting for Rabbani to
return from a trip to Iran.
Yesterday, the two met and the attacker went to shake
hands with Rabbani at his home, bowing his head near the
former president`s chest and detonating a bomb hidden in his
turban, Qasemyar said.
The US-led coalition said another attacker was also
involved, but that could not be confirmed by Afghan officials.
A Western official, who spoke on condition of anonymity
because the killing is still being investigated, said one
person has been detained in connection with Rabbani`s death.
The assassination dashed hopes for reconciling with the
Taliban and raised fears about deteriorating security in
Afghanistan just as foreign combat troops are starting to pull