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Afghan Leader Urges Pakistan to Stop Militants

July 08, 2006|From the Associated Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai on Friday urged neighbor Pakistan to stop militants from training on its soil, as a coalition soldier was killed in fighting in southern Afghanistan.

Karzai blamed foreign terrorists for a recent surge in violence and called on Pakistan to dismantle terrorist training grounds on its soil. Pakistan, a former Taliban backer and now a key ally in the U.S.-declared war on terrorism, denies granting sanctuary to the militants.

"A factor of instability is the continuation of terrorists being able to attack Afghanistan from abroad who are equipped, financed and sent to Afghanistan," Karzai told reporters during a visit to Japan. "I hope that Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region can cooperate much more effectively and strongly, and much more sincerely, to stop terrorism and eliminate its sources of training and financing."

In the latest bloodshed, militants Thursday attacked a coalition convoy in Helmand province, killing a soldier and wounding another, said Air Force Sgt. Chris Miller, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition. Five militants died when coalition forces returned fire, he said.

Miller gave no details about the soldier, but another official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was American.

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