SLUG: 2-293833 Afghanistan / Masood
TITLE= AFGHANISTAN MASOOD / L
BYLINE= JIM TEEPLE
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.
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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.
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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
/// 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
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
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)
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