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Former Afghan president killed in suicide bombing

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (BDCi) – Ex-president of Afghanistan Burhanuddin Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber in his home on Tuesday, reports AP. Four bodyguards were also killed and a key adviser was wounded.

According to Fazel Karim Aimaq, a friend of Rabbani’s, a man who came to see Rabbani was not “properly searched.” The man shook hands with Rabbani, bowed as a sign of respect and “then his turban exploded.”

Rabbani’s death is expected to hurt efforts aimed at keeping ethnic and regional rivalries in check.

Current President Hamid Karzai cut his visit to the U.S. short upon hearing the news. While at a meeting with Karzai in New York, President Obama said that the death of Rabbani will not hinder Afghan and American efforts to help the people of Afghanistan “live freely.”

Rabbani served as president from 1992 to 1996, preceded by Taliban rule.

A close friend of Rabbani’s, Habibullah, stood crying outside the hospital and said, “we lost our leader, we lost our leader.”

By: Diego Díaz Source: AP 20 September 2011

11:22 a.m. P.D.T.

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