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Afghan Leader Makes First Campaign Trip Since Attack

26 September 2004 -- Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai today made his first election campaign trip outside the capital Kabul since he a rocket attack targeted his helicopter on a similar trip earlier this month.

Accompanied by a large contingent of security guards, Karzai traveled by helicopter to Shibirghan in northern Afghanistan.

Shibirghan is a stronghold of warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam, who is among Karzai's 17 rivals in presidential voting slated for 9 October.

Karzai formally opened a road linking the town of Shibirghan in Jawzjan Province, with the province of Sari Pul, around 200 kilometers south of Shibirghan.

The president was forced to curtail his only other campaign trip outside the Afghan capital 10 days ago after a rocket was fired at his helicopter on a trip to southern city of Gardez.