Wednesday Sep 15 2021

Fact check: Was Ahmad Shah Massoud's grave desecrated by Taliban?

  • Indian media reports had previously claimed that the Taliban had desecrated Massoud's grave. 
  • Geo News team visits Massoud's shrine in Panjshir. 
  • Grave remains undamaged, Taliban say they do not harbour any enmity towards someone's grave. 

PANJSHIR: Contrary to several Indian media reports doing the rounds on the internet, Afghan rebel commander Ahmad Shah Massoud's grave has not been desecrated.

Several reports stating that the Taliban desecrated Massoud's grave on his 20th death anniversary were proven false Wednesday when a Geo News team visited the slain commander's grave to find that no damage was done.

The glass covering over the grave, inside the shrine located at Panjshir, was still in place. As the video shows, the ceiling of the shrine also remains intact and the way it was.

Speaking on the matter, the Taliban said that it did not harbour any "enmity towards the grave", adding that any damage to the shrine's windows during armed clashes will be repaired. 

Who was Ahmed Shah Massoud?

Massoud was a skilled commander who fought Soviet troops during the '80s and later, began embroiled in a fierce battle with the Taliban.

He was known as the "Lion Of Panjshir" after the area where he lived and made into a bastion for anti-Taliban fighters.

Two days before September 11, 2001, Massoud sat down for an interview with a group of persons who posed as journalists. Before he could answer their questions, the "journalists" blew themselves up.

Investigators later found out that Massoud was targeted by a suicide squad of the Al-Qaeda, who were posing as journalists to target the fierce commander. The explosives were cleverly planted in the cameras they had taken to interview Massoud.

The assassination sent shockwaves across Afghanistan and the world. Many countries, angered at the Taliban, saw Massoud as their last hope for a potent ally against the Taliban.

A week after he was killed, Massoud was buried in his home district of Bazarak. A marble tomb was built attracting huge numbers of devotees.