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RELIGION > Afghan peace envoy buried to angry scenes

KABUL

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Thousands of mourners buried slain Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani on Friday, in chaotic scenes that undercut calls from President Hamid Karzai to pursue reconciliation with the Taliban. Turkish MPs accompanied Burhanuddin Rabbani’s son Selahaddin Rabbani, who is also Afghanistan Ambassador to Ankara, during his father’s funeral.

Angry Rabbani supporters threw stones at government vehicles at the burial site in Kabul, and chanted “Death to America, death to Pakistan, death to Karzai” before being dispersed by guards who fired warning shots into the air.

“The blood of the martyred [Rabbani] and other martyrs of freedom requires us to continue our efforts until we reach peace and stability,” Karzai said. “We will continue our efforts to reach the peace that was the wish of the martyred [professor] but at the same time, we consider it as our responsibility to fight the enemies of peace with determination.”

He referred to insurgents as “deceived sons of this country,” but Rabbani’s supporters said they wanted revenge for his death.

Turkish MPs in funeral

Selahaddin Rabbani called on the Afghan government to investigate his father’s murder in detail. “Today we experience the saddest day in the world’s political arena,” he said at the funeral.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ attended the funeral and stood near the front during the funeral prayers. Deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, namely Emrullah İşler, Cem Zorlu and Burhan Kayatürk, also participated in the ceremony. Turkey’s right-wing Felicity Party, or SP, leader Mustafa Kamalak also attended the funeral in Kabul.

Compiled from AFP and AA stories by the Daily News staff.

October/19/2011

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