Afghans are honoring a rebel leader who was slain two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and whose fellow fighters helped the U.S. overthrow the Taliban government.

Afghans are honoring a rebel leader who was slain two days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and whose fellow fighters helped the U.S. overthrow the Taliban government.

Ahmad Shah Massoud was a legendary commander of the Northern Alliance.

He was an ethnic Tajik. Although his fighters like those of most Afghan commanders were accused of atrocities, many admired him for his resistance to the Taliban, whose harsh interpretation of Islam made life unbearable for numerous Afghans in the late 1990s.

Massoud was killed on Sept. 9, 2001, by al-Qaida suicide bombers posing as journalists.

On Monday, Afghans held memorial events and leading figures gave speeches honoring Massoud. His picture was plastered on even more buildings than normal, and officials placed wreaths at a monument in Kabul dedicated to him.