Karzai Vows to Continue Afghan Peace Effort

Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to continue efforts to make peace with Taliban-led insurgents in a speech on Friday at the funeral of the government's assassinated peace broker Burhanuddin Rabbani.

"The blood of the martyred (Rabbani) and other martyrs of freedom require us to continue our efforts until we reach peace and stability," Karzai said.

But the president warned that while peace efforts would continue, "At the same time, we consider it our responsibility to fight the enemies of peace with determination."

Karzai spoke in a short speech at the state funeral for Rabbani, who was murdered by a suicide bomber wearing explosives in his turban who visited his Kabul home on Tuesday, claiming to be a Taliban emissary.

Thousands gathered for Rabbani's funeral on Friday with Kabul's diplomatic zone on lockdown to protect the prayers and burial of the former president and chairman on Karzai's hand-picked High Peace Council.

The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the attack but officials have said they were behind it.

Rabbani's body was lying in state at the presidential palace where prayers were being offered ahead of the burial on a hill overlooking the Afghan capital.

Source: Agence France Presse

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