Kabul attacks don't harm reconciliation

Sept. 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- The apparent targeting of U.S. and other foreign interests in Kabul doesn't mean reconciliation with the Taliban is over, the U.S. State Department said.

A siege on buildings housing U.S. and foreign offices in Kabul ended early Wednesday, leaving four Afghan police officers and four civilians dead. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV that its fighters were targeting "the U.S. Embassy, governmental organizations and other foreign organizations."

The attacks come amid discussions on efforts to reconcile with certain members of the Taliban as part of the reintegration process under way in Afghanistan.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said the attacks didn't undermine the reconciliation and reintegration program.

"If and when those reconciling Taliban have renounced violence in the first instance, are willing to live by the constitution, have put down their arms, and are willing to support universal human rights, that would obviously not apply to the kind of people who would perpetrate these kinds of incidents," she said.

Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was quoted by The New York Times as saying the attack wasn't a "very big deal."

Crocker blamed Haqqani insurgents for the attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO facilities in Kabul.

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