Former Afghan President Killed In Attack, Officials Say

At attack at his home in Kabul has left former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani dead, “two government sources” tell The Associated Press.

Reuters also reports that Rabbani, who most recently was chairman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, was killed. “Rabbani has been martyred,” Mohammed Zahir, head of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kabul Police, told the news agency.

According to the BBC, “he was meeting two members of the Taliban at his home” when there was an explosion, officials said. “It is unclear if [the Taliban representatives] were involved in the attack.” The Peace Council has been negotiating with the Taliban in recent years.

An adviser to President Hamid Karzai was wounded, Reuters reports.

About the same time as the attack at Rabbani’s home, the nearby U.S. embassy sounded its “duck and cover” alarm warning of a possible attack there, Reuters says.

A Tajik, Rabbani was “appointed president by the mujahideen executive council in 1992,” the BBC adds, and “continued to be recognised by the U.N. as president of Afghanistan even after he was forced out by the Taliban in 1996. He was was forced to relinquish his post when Hamid Karzai was elected chairman of the interim adminstration in November 2001.”

Rabbani survived a Taliban ambush in August 2009.

Update at 11 a.m. ET: From Kabul, NPR’s Quil Lawrence tells the Newscast Desk that officials say two men who said they were Taliban members and wished to turn themselves in came to Rabbani’s home, and that one of the men is suspected of having concealed a bomb.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.