The former president of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani, was killed today when two suicide bombers detonated themselves at his home in Kabul. Rabbani was a peacemaker and was leading peace efforts in the country.
Professor Rabbani held the position of Chairman of the High Peace Council. Professor Rabbani was meeting with members of the Taliban at the time of his death, four of his bodyguards are also reported dead.
Several colleagues were also injured including the head of the joint secretariat of Afghanistan’s Peace and Reintegration Programme, Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai
The United Nations Assistance Mission ((UNAMA) in Afghanistan have issued a statement condemning the attack. The statement says that they are “shocked” and “saddened” and goes on to state:
“UNAMA condemns in the strongest possible terms this attack on people who were working to bring peace in Afghanistan and extends its deepest condolences to the families of those affected.”
Staffan de Mistura, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, said:
"The search for peace must continue. We know that the efforts led by Professor Rabbani to bring peace to Afghanistan will not end and UNAMA will continue to assist in these efforts.”
Both President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have vowed that this will not deter their efforts for a “peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan”.
In a statement by the U.S Department of Defense, Obama called Professor Rabbani's death “a tragic loss” and President Karzai said:
"The mission that he had undertaken was vital ... for the Afghan people and for the security of our country and for peace in our country."
"We will miss him very, very much. ... But as you rightly say, this will not deter us from continuing on the path that we have, and we'll definitely succeed."
While many want peace in Afghanistan, the Taliban remain determined to derail it. The assassination of Professor Rabbani comes after a recent suicide attack in Kabul which left many dead and others injured.