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Hamid Karzai (file photo)
9 September 2005 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai today spoke of the sacrifice of countless countrymen as he marked the fourth anniversary of the assassination of resistance commander Ahmad Shah Mas'ud.
Mas'ud was killed by suspected Al-Qaeda suicide bombers two days before the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States. His fighters were among the mujahedin forces who ousted the Soviets in the 1980s, and then helped the United States rout Afghanistan's ruling Taliban shortly after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001.
Karzai, speaking at Kabul's sports stadium, said what he called a "huge victory" was not won "for free."
"This huge victory was not achieved for free but thousands of this country's sons lost their life during the holy war to protect freedom, national identity and honor of the nation," Karzai said.
Thousands of people watched as Karzai and other leaders laid wreathes and a guard of honour marched.
A huge portrait of Mas'ud, an ethnic Tajik, dominates the Kabul stadium where the Taliban used to stage public executions.
Legacy Of Ahmad Shah Mas'ud Invoked In Election Campaign (September 2004)
Report Of Mas'ud's Demise Unleashes Speculation On Region's Future (September 2001)