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Germany

German Chancellor Expresses Regret Over Kabul Attack

The German chancellor and other world leaders have condemned an assassination attempt on Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. They reiterated their commitment to securing peace in the country.

Hamid Karzai

President Karzai has survived several assassination attempts while in office

In a telephone call with Karzai on Sunday, April 27, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her "dismay" over a fatal terrorist attack in Kabul earlier that day.

She had asked Karzai to pass on her sympathies to the victims' families, Merkel's spokesman said in a statement. The attack, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility, killed three people -- a parliamentarian, the head of a minority group and a 10-year-old -- and wounded 10 others.

President Karzai escaped unharmed. Gunfire erupted at an event in the capital city marking the 16th anniversary of the fall of the Afghan communist government. The numerous dignitaries present were quickly whisked to safety.

Taliban sources said three of their members were killed when they exchanged fire with security forces at the event.

International bodies commit to carry on

Gunfire broke out Sunday during the official ceremony in Kabul

Gunfire broke out Sunday during the official ceremony

NATO, which leads the 47,000-member international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, condemned the attack.

"NATO will continue to support the Afghan government and people in defending their security and their democracy," said the military alliance's head Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in a statement.

He added that the assault showed the Taliban is willing to turn to violence to counteract Afghanistan's democratic development.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Sunday's attack "unacceptable," reiterated his support for reconstruction in Afghanistan and called on the international community to continue their efforts.

Karzai has survived several assassination attempts since he came to power after US and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

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