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Afghan Leader Condemns Attacks On Aid Agencies

Hamid Karzai (file photo) 9 September 2004 -- Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai today condemned recent attacks on aid agencies after 10 aid workers were wounded when hundreds of demonstrators attacked their offices in the northern city of Faizabad on 7 September.

Karzai said nongovernmental organizations have rendered invaluable services to the people of Afghanistan for years and often under difficult circumstances.

Karzai said the Afghan government is committed to providing a safe environment for aid and reconstruction workers.

Today, NGOs and the United Nations in Afghanistan complained about remarks by Afghan Planning Minister Ramazan Bashardost who was quoted as saying on 7 September that corrupt practices by aid agencies made attacks on their personnel inevitable.

Nick Downie, security officer for NGOs in Afghanistan, said remarks like Bashardost's increased risks to agencies already threatened by the Taliban and other militants.