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Afghan Parliament Approves Controversial Amnesty Bill


Afghanistan's upper house of parliament has passed a controversial resolution that calls for blanket amnesty for Afghans accused of war crimes during more than two decades of conflict.

A vast majority of lawmakers on Tuesday approved the measure, less than a month after it passed in the lower house of parliament.

President Hamid Karzai must sign the bill for it to become law.

The bill covers Afghans who fought against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and then plunged Afghanistan into civil war after the Soviet withdrawal.

International rights groups have urged the Afghan government to hold trials for people accused of war crimes and other rights abuses. The accused include members of the Afghan parliament.

In other news, government officials say Afghan and NATO forces recaptured a district capital in western Afghanistan on Tuesday, a day after Taleban fighters captured the city.

Authorities say the town of Bakwa in the western province of Farah is again under government control after the insurgents offered no resistance.

Also Tuesday, Afghan officials say a suicide bomber disguised as a health worker blew himself up at a hospital in eastern Khost city. The attack wounded three people, including at least two U.S. soldiers.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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