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Karzai Replaces Top Officials Following Taliban Attack

Afghanistan's president has replaced his interior minister and intelligence chief following an attack by Taliban militants on a national peace conference.

A statement issued Sunday by the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the explanations the two officials offered for the attacks were not satisfactory.

The statement said Mr. Karzai accepted the resignations of Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and National Directorate of Security chief Amrullah Saleh.

It said he appointed Munir Mangal as acting interior minister and Ibrahim Spinzada as acting intelligence chief.

Taliban militants fired rockets Wednesday as President Karzai addressed some 1,600 delegates to a three-day peace assembly, or jirga in Kabul. No delegates were injured in the incident. Afghan officials said two of the militants were killed and a third was captured.

Meanwhile, Mr. Karzai on Sunday ordered a review of the cases of all prisoners linked to the Taliban and other militants.

The review is the first step the president has taken towards fulfilling the demands of last week's landmark peace conference on ways to end nearly nine years of war.

President Karzai's office said the review committee will include officials from the Supreme Court, a government-backed reconciliation commission, the Justice Ministry and other judicial officers.

The assembly's final resolution calls for the release of prisoners who have allegedly been detained by Afghan and foreign forces without sufficient evidence.

The resolution also calls for the formation of a commission to lead efforts to open negotiations with the Taliban, who have vowed not to engage in peace talks until all foreign troops leave Afghanistan.

The resolution also says insurgents who want to take part in the peace process must cut their ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. It says militants who join the peace process should be removed from the U.N. blacklist.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.