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Farewell for Afghan ex-President

Friday, September 23, 2011 - 00:50

Sept. 23 - The funeral takes place for Afghanistan's assassinated former President Burhannudin Rabbani. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai was among the mourners paying their last respects at the funeral of his assassinated predecessor. He cut short a trip to the United Nations General Assembly in New York to attend Friday's funeral for Burhanuddin Rabbani. He earlier expressed sadness at Rabbani's death, saying a shadowy figure posing as a peace envoy turned out to be 'a terrorist and a killer'. Rabbani was killed at his home on Tuesday, when an insurgent he was due to meet for talks detonated explosives hidden in his turban. Funeral prayers were held before the coffin was taken away again for removal to the final burial ground. Rabbani's inner circle have chosen the Wazir Akbar Khan hilltop overlooking Kabul's diplomatic enclave to bury the man who made his name as a fiery lecturer and activist, and then became an anti-Soviet fighter, before briefly heading the country after the fall of the Soviet-backed regime. His killing is the latest in a series of high-profile assassinations that have dealt a blow to the government's hopes of reconciliation and raised fears of an escalation of tensions between the country's ethnic groups. The assassination has angered many ethnic Tajiks in northern Afghanistan, and was seen as a clear rejection of peace efforts by the Taliban. The Taliban initially claimed responsibility for Rabbani's death in a telephone interview with a Reuters reporter in Pakistan. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement on Wednesday denying the comments were made, but did not explicitly deny the group was involved.

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Farewell for Afghan ex-President

Friday, September 23, 2011 - 00:50