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SLUG: 2-293833 Afghanistan / Masood
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE= 09/09/02

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE= AFGHANISTAN MASOOD / L

NUMBER=2-293833

BYLINE= JIM TEEPLE

DATELINE= KABUL

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: Afghans paid tribute Monday to former Northern Alliance

Commander Ahmad Shah Masood, who was assassinated one year ago by

suspected al-Qaida terrorists at his base in northern Afghanistan.

V-O-As Jim Teeple reports security in Kabul is tight, following last week's assassination attempt against President Hamid Karzai and a bomb blast that left more than 20 people dead in the Afghan capital, the same day.

TEXT:

/// ACTUALITY OF HELICOPTERS, IN AND UNDER ///

Helicopters from the multinational International Security Assistance Force circled Kabuls sports stadium, as thousands of government workers, students and senior officials paid tribute to Ahmad Shah Masood.

A mortal enemy of the Taleban, Ahmad Shah Masood -- the Northern Alliance

military commander -- had been pushed back to his stronghold in the Panjshir Valley, when he was killed, last September Ninth, by two suspected al-Qaida terrorists, posing as journalists.

Sitting in Kabul stadium Monday, just a few meters from the goalposts

where Taleban soldiers carried out public executions, Hafifa Nasemi -- the

principal of Kabuls Manoucheri Girls School -- said she was happy to be

able to come pay her respects to Ahmad Shah Masood. Mrs. Nasemi says

life under the Taleban had been unbearable.

/// DARI ACTUALITY, IN AND UNDER ///

Hafifa Nasemi says she had been unable to work under the Taleban and that

she and her daughters were prisoners in their own home for five years.

Now, she says, she and her daughters feel they have been given their

lives back.

/// OPT /// Known as the Lion of the Panjshir Valley, Ahmad Shah Masood

was a brilliant military commander and tactician. His rag-tag forces

fought the Soviet Army to a standstill in the 1980s and then

battled with other Afghan commanders for control of Kabul during a vicious

civil war, in the early 1990s, that devastated Kabul and large parts of

Afghanistan. /// END OPT ///

Although many Afghans remembered Ahmad Shah Masood with fondness on

Monday -- placing his picture in shop windows and hoisting black flags in

his memory -- some Afghans hold less charitable views of the ethnic Tajik

military leader.

Standing in the shell of a building he is renovating in West Kabul,

Ahmad Reza -- a young contractor from Afghanistans Hazara ethnic

minority -- says he cannot forgive Ahmad Shah Masood for destroying Kabuls

traditional ethnic Hazara neighborhood, while fighting for control of

the city ten years ago.

/// HAZARA / DARA DIALECT, IN AND UNDER ///

Ahamd Reza says he respects Ahmad Shahs reputation as a fighter

against the Russians and the Taleban, but that every time he sees the destruction

caused by the late commanders forces, his respect fades away.

One person absent from Mondays memorial observances was

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. Mr. Karzai is visiting New York to meet

with President Bush; address the U-N General Assembly; and attend a

memorial for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the

United States.

Before he left for the United States, Mr. Karzai, traveled Saturday to Ahmad Shah Masoods village in the Panjshir Valley, to pay respects to the late commanders family in an emotional memorial service attended by thousands of the guerrilla leader's troops and followers. (Signed)

neb/jlt/wd



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