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Karzai slams Palestinian massacre; seeks truce Farah blast widely condemned

19 November, 2012

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KABUL: President Hamid Karzai on Saturday strongly condemned Israeli strikes against the Palestinian territory that killed and injured a number of innocent civilians.

Palestinian officials say the Israeli attacks have been targeting Gaza since Wednesday, killing around 38 people and wounding over 270 others, including women and children.On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, Karzai condemned in the strongest terms the attacks, according to a statement from the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

While calling for an immediate end to the killings, he said: "Harming civilians is unjustifiable on any side and anywhere." He added Afghanistan fully supported efforts that could ensure a ceasefire.

Karzai offers his deepest condolences and sympathies to the people of Palestine.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon is to travel to the region in days to push for a truce. "Ban went to the region during the last Israeli offensive against Gaza in 2009 and worked hard to end that conflict. He is looking to produce a truce this time as well," according to a UN diplomat.

Meanwhile, resident Hamid Karzai, NATO-led forces and the US embassy in Kabul on Saturday strongly condemned Friday's roadside bomb blast that claimed the lives of 17 civilians in western Farah province.

Seventeen wedding guests, who were coming from Khak-i-Sofaid district to Pushtrod, were killed and six others wounded when a van carrying them struck a roadside bomb late on Thursday.While vehemently denouncing the incident, the president said that roadside bombings against civilians were an inhuman act of foreign agents. "Terrorists want to prove through such contemptible acts by killing children and women," Karzai said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the United States offered condolences to the families and entire communities of the victims, and wished a full recovery for those injured.

"This reprehensible attack against innocent civilians, mostly women and children en route to a wedding celebration, demonstrates yet again that the insurgents have no respect for the Afghan people," a statement from the embassy said.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) condemned the blast as a brutal attack against innocent civilians.

"The insurgents' claim to avoid killing civilians again rings hollow as they continue their ruthless IED campaign," said Brig. Gen. John Madower, the deputy ISAF spokesperson.

"The insurgents have no regard for the good people of this country," he added.

End.

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