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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Afghanistan Honors Massood

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Thousands of Afghans on Monday marked the anniversary of the assassination of a mujahedin commander killed by suspected al-Qaida agents just two days before the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Black flags flew on shops and houses to commemorate Ahmed Shah Massood's murder, and thousands of people crammed into Kabul's main sports stadium to hear speeches extolling his life.

Defense Minister Mohammed Qasim Fahim, Massood's former intelligence chief in the Northern Alliance movement which fought the Taliban, paid tribute to the inspirational leader who died aged 48 near the Tajik border in a bomb attack triggered by two suspected al-Qaida agents posing at journalists.

"He was the one who resisted the Taliban and al-Qaida terrorist network for five and a half years and guided his people towards prosperity and freedom," said Fahim.

The colorful celebrations come four days after Afghan President Hamid Karzai narrowly escaped an attempt on his life and a huge car bomb went off in a busy Kabul district. Security around the stadium was tight, with Afghan police working alongside the International Security Assistance Force peacekeepers inside and outside the arena.