The Che Guevara of Afghanistan

In Afghanistan you see his picture all over: On walls, car windows, posters. He is the Che Guevara of Afghanistan: Ahmad Shah Massoud (September 2, 1953 – September 9, 2001) was an Afghan political and military leader, who was a powerful military commander during the resistance against the Soviet occupation between 1979 and 1989 and in the following years of civil war.

He was assassinated on September 9, 2001, probably of al-Qaeda, in a suicide bombing, just two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States which led to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation invading Afghanistan, allying with Massoud’s forces.
Massoud was posthumously named „National Hero“ by the order of President Hamid Karzai after the Taliban were ousted from power.

The date of Massoud’s death, September 9, is observed as a national holiday known as „Massoud Day“. His followers call him Amir Sāhib-e Shahīd (امیر صاحب شهید).

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