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Pakistan Denies Backing Afghan Militants --> Canadian soldiers in Kandahar (file photo) (epa) May 19, 2006 -- Pakistan today rejected accusations by Afghan President Hamid Karzai that it is supporting cross-border attacks by militants and interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs.

The French news agency AFP quoted Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam as saying there is "no truth" in Karzai's allegations.

Speaking on May 17 to tribal elders, officials, and religious leaders in Konar Province, Karzai said Pakistan's religious schools were sending militants into Afghanistan.

"We have exact information that in the madrasahs [Islamic schools] of Pakistan, young boys are being told to go Afghanistan and join the jihad, burn schools, and destroy clinics because infidels are in Afghanistan," Karzai said.

Karzai's allegations came after some of the heaviest fighting that Afghanistan has seen in years left around 80 dead in southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

The spike in violence also saw two suicide bombing attacks, one in the western city of Herat, and the other in southern Ghanzi Province.

(AFP, Reuters, dpa)