President Hamid Karzai today said that the assassin of Afghan peace broker Burhanuddin Rabbani had come to Kabul with a CD carrying an apparent audio “message of peace”, allegedly from Taliban leaders.
Karzai said he had heard the CD, passed to him by a High Peace Council representative, before Rabbani’s assassination and initially thought it carried the peace message. The Afghan president then headed to the United States but cut short the visit after Rabbani was killed at his Kabul home on Tuesday. Officials say the killer had waited in the Afghan capital for up to four days to see him. In an emotional press conference in the presidential palace gardens, Karzai said: “We saw that that message was not a message of peace, it was rather a deception and the peace emissary was a murderer.” Rabbani, chairman of Karzai’s High Peace Council, was killed by a bomber wearing explosives in his turban. The Taliban have yet to claim responsibility for the attack but officials have blamed them for carrying it out.
In a separate press conference, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said it believed the Taliban’s leadership body — the Quetta Shura — was involved. “Our investigation is continuing but we know that someone named Mullah Hamidullah from the Quetta Shura was involved,” said spokesman Shafiqullah Taheri. “This means that the Quetta Shura was also involved.” He added that the initial contact which led to the fatal meeting dated back to June.
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