Conflict & Justice

Anger as slain Afghan peace talks chief buried in Kabul

Thousands of mourners buried slain Afghan peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani on Friday in Kabul amid tight security.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai attended the state funeral at the presidential palace, but not the burial that followed, the Associated Press reports . Rabbani,the former Northern Alliance leader who was president from 1992 to 1996 and most recently chaired Afghanistan's High Peace Council, was buried atop a hill overlooking Kabul.

He was assassinated Tuesday by a suicide bomber hiding a bomb in his turban and claiming to carry a peace message from the Taliban.

The AP reports:

One by one, lawmakers and foreign envoys at the palace paid tribute before Rabbani's casket, draped in a red, black and green national flag. A military band played the national anthem. Then a procession of vehicles, some bearing large portraits of Rabbani, showing him dignified in robes and with a long white beard, drove up a hill overlooking Kabul, the capital.

Angry Rabbani supporters threw stones at government vehicles at the burial site and changed "Death to Karzai," and "Death to America," Agence France-Presse reports.

Thousands of extra police officers stood on guard, with security tight following Rabbani's death and last week's siege on the U.S. embassy, AFP reports. 

GlobalPost's Erin Cunningham reports from Kabul that "the assassination of Rabbani, 71, a polarizing but influential figure in Afghan politics, marks a serious setback" for Karzai's government.

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