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Funeral for Afghan ex-president

Friday, September 23, 2011 - 02:00

Sept.23 - Afghanistan's assassinated former President Burhanuddin Rabbani is buried amid condemnation and recriminations over his killing. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Hundreds gathered in Kabul for the funeral of Afghanistan's assassinated former President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Current Afghan President Hamid Karzai cut short a trip to the UN General Assembly in New York to join them. After funeral prayers, the coffin was taken for burial on a hilltop overlooking Kabul's diplomatic enclave. Security in Kabul was conspicuously tight ahead of the funeral. Rabbani was killed at his home on Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in his turban. The former president and chief peace negotiator's aides said the bomber was escorted through several layers of security. He wasn't checked because of promises that he was the bearer of a message from the Taliban. President Hamid Karzai's main political opponent Abdullah Abdullah says Karzai must tell the nation what went wrong. SOUNDBITE: Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan opposition leader, saying (English): "The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, President Karzai, calls President Rabbani, late President Rabbani, while he was travelling in Iran, to come sooner rather than later, to come quickly back to Afghanistan in order to meet these people, the same people who assassinated Professor Rabbani. He has to explain. He has to answer to the people of Afghanistan." At the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Afghanistan's foreign minister read a speech by Karzai condemning Rabbani's killing. SOUNDBITE: Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul saying (English): "He was assassinated in a cowardly terrorist plot by the enemies of peace in our country." The Taliban initially claimed responsibility for Rabbani's death in a phone interview with a Reuters reporter in Pakistan, but later issued a statement denying the comments were made. Paul Chapman, Reuters

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Funeral for Afghan ex-president

Friday, September 23, 2011 - 02:00