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Bush Calls Afghan President to Offer Condolences - 2002-07-05

President Bush Friday telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai to offer his sympathies to the families of those killed in a U.S. air raid. Mr. Bush is spending the Fourth of July weekend at his family's vacation home in the northeast state of Maine.

White House officials say President Bush called the Afghan leader to express his sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives when U.S. aircraft fired on several villages in central Afghanistan Sunday evening.

The men discussed a fact-finding mission underway to determine what happened during the air raid. Afghan officials say at least 40 people were killed. U.S. officials say investigators failed to find any bodies or graves after two days at the site.

Mr. Bush began a vacation at his family's home in Maine following a relatively calm Fourth of July, where security was stepped-up across the country in case of terrorist attack.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says there is no evidence that an airport shooting in Los Angeles was the work of terrorists. He says the president extends his condolences to the families of those killed in the shooting.

The Egyptian-born gunman killed two people at the ticket counter for El Al, the Israeli airline, before he was shot dead by an airline security agent.

Most of the president's family will join him for the weekend at their house in the seaside town of Kennebunkport, including his parents, the former president and First Lady.

Mr. Bush turns 56 on Saturday. He is expected to spend his birthday playing golf and fishing before a speech in New York Tuesday, calling for greater corporate responsibility in the wake of series of American business scandals.