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Mujahidin Victory Day marked without parade

Mujahidin Victory Day marked without parade

Apr 28, 2011 - 15:03

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Despite elaborate preparations, the 19th anniversary of Mujahidin's Victory Day was celebrated without the traditional military parade and other high-profile events in Kabul on Thursday.

A coup by the Soviet-backed Communist Party on April 27, 1978 saw the collapse of President Muhammad Daud Khan's government.

Daud's assassination paved the way for the Soviet invasion and a subsequent popular uprising, which killed 1.5 million people and saw another five million fleeing into exile.

On April 28 1992, the Communist government in Kabul fell and mujahidin took over, ushering in an era of infighting that led to the killing of 60,000 people in the capital alone.

Over the years, the day was celebrated with a military parade and other events across the country. But a Talibaninfo-icon attack on a similar function in 2008 forced extreme caution the government's part.

President Hamid Karzai escaped unhurt while a parliamentarian was killed along with two others in the deadly attack on the military parade.

The Taliban then said the assault was not an assassination attempt on Karzai, but was aimed to show their ability to strike the nation's biggest annual military parade.

A month back, the Ministry o f Defence said the event would be celebrated in an enthusiastic manner, but officials later changed their mind for security reasons.

The decision was taken back after eight International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) soldiers and a contractor were killed during a shooting at the Afghan Air Force Headquarters in Kabul on Wednesday.

Despite strict security arrangements put in place, the cabinet deemed it wise to cancel the parade, the 101st Asmayee police zone commander, Gen. Mohammad Zahir, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

However, the Bayat Foundation said it would celebrate the day with fireworks on Tepa Nadar Khan on Thursday night, said the deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Asif.

The celebration would start at 8:00pm, and officials would participate in the ceremony, he added.


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