Kabul – Afghanistan’s first Vice President Marshal Mohammed Fahim Qassim has died, the director of communications of the Afghan government has confirmed.
In an online statement on Sunday, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi, said that Fahim had passed away and that the government had called for a national mourning period.
“The government of Afghanistan has called for three-day national mourning, during which the national flag will be half-hoisted for his demise,” Faizi said on his Twitter account.
Fahim, who became Karzai’s first president in 2009, had been suffering from diabetes for years and was believed to be in ill health.
He was influential in the Northern Alliance, having replaced Ahmed Shar Massoud after his assassination.
The 57-year-old, who had served as a commander for Ahmad Shah Massood during the fight against Soviet occupation has often been criticised as a “warlord” for his role in the civil war of the 1990s.
Fahim was born in what is now Panjshir province in 1957. He had survived several assassination attempts, the most recent in 2009.