The Mujahideen commander Ahmed Shah Massoud.
Following the withdrawal of the Soviet ground troops, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, led by Mohammad Najibullah, continued to fight against the Mujahideen in a losing battle. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end to its military support was the last straw. In early 1992, Massoud’s forces closed on Kabul and took the city, sending Najibullah fleeing into the UN headquarters where he would live for the next four years.
Massoud became the defense minister of the new regime, but the power sharing agreement between the Mujahideen groups broke down as the moderates, led by Massoud, fueled with Islamic extremist elements led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The ensuing Civil War would last for four more years, ending with a new force, the Pakistani backed Taliban, taking Kabul, and Massoud fleeing for the mountains where he would found the Northern Alliance to continue the fight against them. As for the former leader Najibullah, he was dragged from the UN building to be castrated and hanged.
Massoud and the Northern Alliance (or United Islamic Front) still controlled a portion of the country, would continue to fight the Taliban. Although, with the support of the United States, they would eventually drive the Taliban from Kabul, Massoud was killed before he could see the victory, killed by a suicide bombing on September 9th, 2001.
(Collection of Mohammed Shuaib)