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Nobel winner: Seek terrorism's root causes

  |   Dec. 10, 2006 at 10:18 AM
OSLO, Norway, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Terrorism will prevail until the world addresses its "root causes," Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus said in Norway on accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest language," Yunus said Sunday, but "we must address the root causes of terrorism to end it for all time to come."

He said he believed "putting resources into improving the lives of the poor people is a better strategy than spending it on guns," the BBC reported.

Yunus observed the United States had spent more than $670 billion on the war in Iraq.

Yunus, 66, founded the Grameen Bank in 1976 with $27 from his own pocket to help people out of poverty by giving them small, usually unsecured loans.

Today it has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97 percent are women, the bank's Web site says.

Yunus said he would use the $1.37 million prize money to "find more innovative ways" to help the poor launch businesses.

"Poverty is a threat to peace," he told the awards ceremony at Oslo's City Hall to applause from about 1,000 guests.

Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Ole Danbolt Mjoes said by giving the award to Yunus, the group sought to highlight not only the fight against poverty, but also dialogue with the Muslim world and the need to empower women.

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