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Afghan Factional Leader Calls for Jihad - 2002-09-04


Afghan factional leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has again called for a jihad (holy war) to oust President Hamid Karzai's government and U.S. led forces from his country.

The Hezb-i-Islami faction leader and former Afghan prime minister made the appeal in a recorded message sent to news media in Pakistan late Tuesday.

The Pashtun-language message is Mr. Hekmatyar's second public call for a war against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He made a similar appeal late last year, while in exile in Iran. Iranian authorities expelled him after that appeal.

International peacekeepers say they suspect Mr. Hekmatyar was behind a spate of bombings in the Afghan capital, Kabul. They say he also may have linked up with remaining Taleban and al-Qaida fighters. Mr. Hekmatyar denies the charges.

The renegade warlord survived an attempt on his life in May, when U.S. intelligence agents fired a missile at him from an un-manned spy-plane

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