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Ahmad Shah Massoud

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Ahmad Shah Massoud
Nickname"Lion of Panjshir" (Persian: شیر پنجشیر)
Born(1953-09-02)September 2, 1953
Bazarak, Panjshir, Afghanistan
DiedSeptember 9, 2001(2001-09-09) (aged 48)
Takhar Province, Afghanistan
Service/branch Jamiat-e Islami / Shura-e Nazar (part of Mujahideen)
Afghan military
United Islamic Front
Years of service1978–2001
Commands heldProminent Mujahideen commander during the Soviet war in Afghanistan
Defense Minister of Afghanistan and commander of the anti-Taliban United Islamic Front
AwardsNational Hero of Afghanistan

Ahmad Shah Massoud was an Afghan military commander during the Soviet–Afghan War and later on in the civil war afterwards. He was an ethnic Tajik and a Sunni Muslim. During the civil war, he defended the capital from the Taliban, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and Abdul Rashid Dostum.

After the Taliban came to power in 1996, Massoud began an armed rebellion against the Taliban government. Massoud rejected the Talibans radical interpretation of jihadist Deobandi Sunni Islam. He became the leader of the Northern Alliance which allied with NATO during the war against the Taliban. He was assassinated on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 9/11 attacks in the US.