France tries eight over Masud's killing

Eight suspected members of al-Qaida have gone on trial in Paris, accused of helping to plan the assassination of Afghan leader Ahmad Shah Masud two days before the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

    Ahmad Shah Masud headed the anti-Taliban National Alliance

    They are accused of providing funds and forged documents for the two men who posed as journalists and died when they detonated a bomb that killed Masud at the start of an interview with him in northern Afghanistan.

    The eight are of Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian origin but some have French citizenship. Their trial, which started on Tuesday, is expected to last until mid-April and they could face up to 10 years in jail.

    The accused include 31-year-old Yusif al-Auni, a French of Moroccan origin, who investigators say has acknowledged belonging to a banned Islamist group.

    Masud was the military and political leader of the National Alliance - the main opposition to the Taliban movement - which helped drive it from power after his death.

    France's intelligence security service said the bomb killing Masud had been planted in a camera stolen from a journalist's car in the French Alpine city of Grenoble on 24 December 2000.

    Investigating magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguiere has accused the eight of having links with a network of Islamist groups operating in France, Britain, Belgium and Italy which sent the two assassins to Afghanistan for training.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.