Indian envoy at Afghan Jirga attacked, Karzai safe
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 18:31
  
Kabul: Firing rockets and carrying out a suicide attack, Taliban on Wednesday made a failed bid to disrupt a conference of tribal leaders called by President Hamid Karzai to evolve ways to bring peace in Afghanistan.

Karzai and Indian Ambassador Jayant Prasad were among nearly 1,500 people who escaped unhurt in the incident in which two attackers were killed and five Afghan security personnel were injured.

As soon as Karzai arrived to address the 'jirga', two rockets zoomed past the huge tent where the delegates, including several diplomats, were present and landed around a km away, sources said.

Unfazed by it, Karzai went ahead with the programme, urging the tribal leaders to suggest ways by which the war could be ended and peace bestowed in the country.

While he was winding up his speech, two suicide bombers exploded just about 200 metres away from the venue, shaking even the podium.

Sources said the bombers were trying to reach the jirga venue but when stopped, they blew themselves up.

A Presidential Guard, two personnel of Afghan National Directorate of Security (intelligence unit) and two Afghan army personnel were injured in the attack, they said.

Two Taliban terrorists were hiding in a house nearby and security forces engaged them, injuring one seriously and arresting the other, they said.

About 12,000 security personnel had been deployed for protection of the jirga in apprehension of trouble.

The Taliban have already rubbished the jirga, saying it was a propaganda stunt. They say no peace talks can be held till US-led forces leave the country.

The three-day jirga has been called by Karzai to discuss whether there could be reconciliation and reintegration of Taliban in the mainstream as part of efforts to end the war.

"We need a national consultation, a peace consultation all over Afghanistan," Karzai said at the conference.

"The Afghan nation is looking at you. They await your decisions, your advice so that you can show the Afghan nation the way to reach peace, to rescue Afghanistan from this suffering and pain," he told the delegates.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 18:31


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