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Afghan president again demands U.S. airstrikes end

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 19, 2014 at 12:39 p.m.

KABUL — Afghanistan's president demanded Sunday that the United States no longer carry out military operations or airstrikes and must jump-start peace talks with the Taliban before his country signs a security deal to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014.

President Hamid Karzai's deepening anti-American rhetoric comes as the Taliban intensifies its assaults ahead of the planned withdrawal and after Friday's militant raid on a popular Kabul restaurant, the deadliest single attack against foreign civilians in the course of the nearly 13-year U.S.-led war.

Although Karzai has made similar demands in the past, he has in recent weeks ratcheted up his condemnations of alleged U.S. failures as Afghans look fearfully ahead to an uncertain future.

Karzai made the statement after being presented with the findings of an investigation into a joint Afghan-U.S. military operation last week that resulted in civilian casualties which he blamed on a U.S. military air strike.

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