Obama: Ex-Afghan leader's death will not deter US

September 20, 2011 - 11:25 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama says the killing of Afghanistan's ex-leader will not deter the U.S. and Afghanistan from helping that country's people live freely.

Obama says the former president's death is tragic because he was a man who cared deeply about Afghanistan.

Obama commented Tuesday at the top of a meeting in New York with current Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The former president, Burhanuddin Rabbani (boor-HAHN'-uh-deen ruh-BAH'-nee), was killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing in Kabul. Rabbani was head of the country's high peace council, which was set up by the Afghan government to work toward a political solution with the Taliban.

A spokesman said Karzai was cutting his trip short and returning to Kabul after the meeting with Obama.