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Afghan Mujahedin Leader-Turned-President Dies At 93

FILE: Former Afghan president Sibghatullah Mojaddedi in 2001
FILE: Former Afghan president Sibghatullah Mojaddedi in 2001

KABUL -- Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, an Afghan mujahedin commander who fought against Soviet forces and rose to become the country's first president after the Soviet Army's withdrawal, has died.

Mojaddedi died late on February 11 in a Kabul hospital, his family said. He was 93.

Mojaddedi "has played a vital role in all national issues and his legacy will remain part of Afghanistan's history," Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted.

Mojaddedi led a mujahedin faction, the Afghan National Liberation Front, during the decade-long insurgency against the Soviet occupiers.

After the Soviet Army retreated 30 years ago, Afghanistan's communist regime collapsed in 1992 and Mojaddedi was chosen as interim president.

He served two months under a power-sharing deal struck by mujahedin leaders before Afghanistan plunged into civil war.

Following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, he served as chairman of the Loya Jirga, or traditional grand council of political leaders and elders, that approved a new constitution for Afghanistan in 2003.

Mojaddedi also chaired a gathering of tribal elders in 2013 that endorsed a deal allowing the United States to keep troops in Afghanistan to train local forces and conduct counterterrorism operations.

With reporting by AFP

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