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Ahmad Shah Massoud gives orders while standing on a Northern Alliance tank. Massoud was Afghanistan's tragic resistance hero. A brilliant tactician, as a young mujahideen commander Massoud outwitted nine Soviet offensives designed to destroy his Panjshir Valley bases. Described as 'unbeatable' by one Russian general, in 1992 he led his forces into Kabul to overthrow the communist regime of President Najibullah, and was appointed Minister of Defense in the new government. Yet victory was short lived and civil war quickly ensued. In late 1996, Massoud and his men were driven from Kabul by the Taliban. He fought on, occupying a shrinking piece of territory in the north of the country until his assassination by suicide bomber on 09 September 2001. Two months later his mujahideen again entered Kabul.