Former Afghan President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi passes away

February 13, 2019

An Afghan militant commander who fought the Soviets and rose to become the country’s first president after the Red Army retreated has died aged 93, his family said Tuesday.

Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, who commanded a militant faction during the decade-long insurgency against the Soviet occupiers, passed away late Monday in a Kabul hospital after a long illness.

Prominent Afghans, including former president Hamid Karzai, have begun visiting the Mojaddedi family home to pay their respects.

Afghanistan’s de facto prime minister Abdullah Abdullah extended his condolences to the respected Mojaddedi clan.

“He has played a vital role in all national issues and his legacy will remain part of Afghanistan’s history,” he posted on Twitter.

Presidential candidate and former national security adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar said Mojaddedi’s passing “leaves a huge vacuum in Afghan politics and public life”.

Mojaddedi’s death comes three days before the 30th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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