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Karzai To Militants: Renounce Violence

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (right) speaking with General Stanley McChrystal on April 10, 2010 in Kabul
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on Taliban fighters in the northern province of Kunduz to renounce violence.

Karzai made his appeal at a meeting today with hundreds of elders in the provincial capital, Kunduz, where he traveled along with the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal.

Kunduz's provincial governor, Mohammad Omar, warned at the gathering of deteriorating security in the province unless a joint Afghan and NATO operation was conducted.

In a sign of the volatility of the northern region, plans for Karzai to address German troops in Kunduz today were called off at the last minute. Residents and German forces said rockets had fallen near the German base there.

In the coming months, thousands of U.S. troops are expected to be deployed to the region, where some 4,500 German-led soldiers are already stationed.

compiled from agency reports