Taliban spurn Afghan president's offer of talks

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Taliban militants are rejecting Afghan President Hamid Karzai's offer of peace talks.

Karzai made the offer yesterday, saying he would provide security for Taliban leader Mullah Omar, it he agreed to the talks. Karzai also said if U.S. and other Western nations disagree with him making the approach, they could either get out of Afghanistan or try to oust him.

But, a Taliban spokesman today said the Taliban's leaders would take no part in peace talk until foreign troops leave Afghanistan. He said the Taliban will continue to "pursue jihad against foreign forces" and Karzai's government. He called the peace overtures are a political ploy by Karzai ahead of next year's planned presidential elections.

Karzai has dismissed the demand for foreign troops to leave, saying they are needed to keep Afghanistan safe.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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