News 12 february — 12:14

Former Afghan President Sibghatullah Mujaddedi dies

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Spiritual leader and former president Sibghatullah Mujaddedi died on Tuesday at the age of 93, his family said, Anadolu Agency reports.

The veteran leader was widely respected by the Afghans for his roots to the Naqshbandi Sufi order as well as resistance to the former Soviet Union even years before the Red Army invaded Afghanistan in the late 1970s.

As a graduate of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt in Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, young Mujaddedi joined the faculty at Kabul University in the 1950s, but was soon criticized, imprisoned and later forced to flee to Denmark due to his opposition to growing Soviet influence in Afghanistan. He became the ceremonial interim president of the country in 1992 after the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the fall of the Communist regime in Kabul led by Najibullah Ahmadzai.

He went into exile in Pakistan when the country plunged into civil war and the Taliban grabbed power in Kabul. Mujaddedi returned to Kabul in 2001 and served at various positions under the U.S. backed government.

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