Josy Joseph in New Delhi
Ahmed Shah Masood, military leader of the anti-Taleban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, died immediately after the suicide attack on him on September 9, Indian officials have confirmed.
Officially, Indian and other anti-Taleban intelligence agencies continue to claim that Masood survived the attack and is recuperating in neighbouring Tajikistan. The Afghan embassy in New Delhi and Masood's headquarters in Khwaja Bahauddin also claim that he is alive.
But an authoritative Indian government source confirmed that Masood died in the suicide attack on September 9.
The official admitted that there was a desperate attempt to cover up the death of the charismatic Tajik warlord until Fahin, who has taken over as commander of his forces, gained complete control of the situation.
Afghanistan's Ambassador to India Masood Khalili was badly injured in the attack mounted by two Algerians masquerading as journalists, who blew up their video camera filled with explosives during an 'interview' with Masood.
Khalili has now been secretly brought back to New Delhi and admitted to a hospital for treatment, the official said.
The official confirmed that the attack on Masood was planned and executed by the Taleban-Osama bin Laden alliance.
Masood was involved in Afghanistan's bloody civil war for over two decades, first against the Soviet-backed Communists, then against rivals in the Mujahideen forces that ousted the Red Army from the country, and finally against the Taleban.
He had earlier this year visited several European countries in an attempt to drum up support for his resistance forces.
Afghan embassy denies Masood's death
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