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Karzai marks 9/11 with appeal

karzaiKABUL: President Hamid Karzai marked the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the US on Saturday by insisting the origins of the continued Taliban insurgency are not in Afghanistan.

Karzai did not mention neighboring Pakistan by name, but it was clear he was referring to the insurgent sanctuaries there when he said the war should ”focus on the sources and the origins of terrorism.”

He said by focusing on Afghanistan, the coalition endangers Afghan civilians who were freed from Taliban rule in the 2001 US-led invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks. He urged Nato to do everything to avoid civilian deaths.

”The villages of Afghanistan are not the origins and the sanctuaries of terrorists,” Karzai said. ”Innocent Afghan people should not be the victims in the fight against terrorism.”

Civilian deaths are a flashpoint issue in Afghanistan because they seriously undermine support for the war. Karzai has repeatedly urged Nato to take all necessary measures to protect civilians.

Nato says it is doing all it can to avoid innocent casualties, but says insurgents often use civilians as human shields during attacks. -AP

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