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Slain Afghan Vice President Buried - 2002-07-07


Slain Afghan Vice President Haji Abdul Qadir was buried today (Sunday) in the eastern city of Jalalabad, as the investigation began into his assassination -- the second of an Afghan cabinet minister this year.

Mr. Qadir and his driver were gunned down Saturday by assailants disguised as security guards outside his office in Kabul.

Thousands of mourners formed a procession bearing the slain vice president from a mosque in Jalalabad to his burial site in the center of the city.

Mr. Qadir's body -- wrapped in a green, red and black Afghan flag -- was lowered into the ground as loudspeakers hailed him as a hero of Afghanistan. Earlier, in Kabul, about 10-thousand mourners led by President Hamid Karzai participated in a prayer ceremony for the fallen vice-president.

Afghanistan's aviation minister was assassinated in February.

President Karzai said he will seek foreign help in the probe of Mr. Qadir's killing if Afghan investigators fail to track down those behind it. Several guards on duty at the compound were arrested for failing to prevent the attack.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post (newspaper) says conventional military strategies involving thousands of regular U-S infantry troops in Afghanistan will soon be abandoned in favor of smaller operations carried out by Special Forces and U-S intelligence operatives.

Such a shift would signal a dramatic shift from U-S military policy earlier this year, when thousands of U-S infantry troops combed eastern Afghanistan for al-Qaida terrorists and their Taleban supporters.

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