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Karzai Assures Tribal Leaders Of ‘Cooperation, Consultation’

General Stanley McChrystal joined Hamid Karzai on the visit to reassure tribal leaders in Kandahar.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO and U.S. commander General Stanley McChrystal today met with tribal leaders in the southern city of Kandahar ahead of an expected military push into the area, a Taliban stronghold.

Karzai assured some 2,000 officials and tribal leaders that there will be no military operation there without their "cooperation and consultation."

Most of the 30,000 new troops promised by U.S. President Barack Obama will be headed to Kandahar city and the surrounding province.

No dates have been announced and it is unclear whether Karzai will have final say over the mission.

Security was extremely tight as Karzai and McChrystal flew into the city center in a U.S. military helicopter for the tribal shura at the governor's compound earlier today.

Karzai has said he will hold a national "peace jirga," or tribal assembly, to promote reconciliation with insurgents starting on May 2.

New Casualties

Also today, a soldier with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed by an improvised bomb in southern Afghanistan.

The latest casualty brings the number of foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 145 this year.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said one man and three women were killed today when their car hit a mine in Ghazni city, also in southern Afghanistan.

Compiled from agency reports