He is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar nicknamed “Engineer”, leader of Afghanistan’s Islamic party
A fighting between coalition troops and rebels took place near America’s Bagram Air Base early today. This was the largest fighting over the past nine months. At least 18 rebel fighters were killed as a result of the collision, Associated Press reports there are no victims in the coalition troops. In accordance with provisional information, the rebel fighters belonged to the group of renegade leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
The group consisted of over 80 men; press-secretary of the American Air Base Roger King says, it was the largest concentration of enemy forces since Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan in spring of 2002. Location of the rebel group was reported by an Afghan man detained by the coalition troops during fighting in mountains in southeastern Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan.
At the end of 2002, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar declared jihad to peacemaking troops in Afghanistan. In a statement circulated by Associated Press he declared that his followers joined with Taliban and al-Qaeda people and were ready to fight together against western troops on the Afghan territory. He said that together they would fight against foreigners until they leave Afghanistan, and an Islamic state is established there.
Leader of Afghanistan’s Islamic party Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was at head of the strongest militarized group in the years of Soviet occupation. His party was supported by seven official Mujahideen groups recognized by Pakistani and American intelligence services. Through these groups Gulbuddin Hekmatyar got money and weapons. Then he joined with General Rashid Dustum, as he feared that his authority could be weakened by the Mujahideen administration ruling in Afghanistan within 1992-1996. In 1996, Hekmatyar escaped from Afghanistan for Iran, he got back home only this year. In accordance with the information provided by the US intelligence, Hekmatyar is enjoying considerable support among ethnic Pastuns, that is why his threats must be taken into account.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/15/40/6175_Afganistan.html