Thousands of mourners buried slain Afghan peace negotiator Burhanuddin Rabbani yesterday amid chaotic scenes that undercut calls from President Hamid Karzai to pursue reconciliation with the Taliban.

Angry Rabbani supporters threw stones at government vehicles at the burial site in Kabul and chanted “Death to America, death to Pakistan, death to Mr Karzai” before being dispersed by guards who fired warning shots into the air.

As he was buried on top of a hill overlooking Kabul, thousands of people jostled around the coffin waving black flags and placards and continuing to shout slogans alleging a range of conspiracies over the assassination.

Kabul police deployed thousands of extra officers in a lockdown which aimed to prevent further insurgent strikes in the city following Mr Rabbani’s death and last week’s 19-hour attack targeting the US embassy.

A key Tajik ally of Pashtun Karzai, Mr Rabbani was a leader of the mujahedeen who fought the Soviet invasion in the 1980s and the Taliban in the 1990s before becoming Afghan President during the 1992-1996 civil war.

Mr Karzai made him chairman of the High Peace Council last year.

He was assassinated at home in Kabul on Tuesday by a bomber who hid explosives in his turban and who had purported to be a peace emissary from the Taliban leadership.

Mr Rabbani was the most senior figure killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion and his death leaves the government looking more vulnerable than ever.

The chaos at the burial site was in stark contrast to the quiet atmosphere at the heavily fortified presidential palace where hundreds of diplomats and officials earlier filed past the body to pay their respects as it lay in state.

The President, who did not attend the burial, insisted the murder would not derail efforts to reach out to insurgents.

“The blood of the martyred (Rabbani) and other martyrs of freedom requires us to continue our efforts until we reach peace and stability,” Mr Karzai said.

“We will continue our efforts to reach peace which was the wish of martyred ustad (professor) but at the same time, we consider it as our responsibility to fight the enemies of peace with determination.”

He referred to insurgents as “deceived sons of this country”. But Mr Rabbani’s supporters insisted that attempts to talk to the Taliban must stop and called for revenge.

Afghanistan’s former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, a Tajik, urged them to take to the streets.

“This government is not taking responsibility for the shedding of our peoples’ blood,” he said after the burial.“The government doesn’t have the right to talk with enemies anymore. Nothing will come of so much talking.”

Enayatullah, a Tajik university student, added: “We are all grieving, people here have lost a great leader.

“We vow to take the revenge for Burhanuddin Rabbani. We also demand that the government detain those behind the killing.

“We want those who organised this meeting (Rabbani’s ultimately fatal meeting with the turban bomber) to be put on trial, even if they are members of the High Peace Council.”

Analyst Ahmad Saeedi warned that, following the death, there was a danger that powerful Tajiks would stop supporting peace efforts, and Mr Karzai’s government.

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