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Karzai Condemns Latest Suicide Attack Killing 12

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a suicide attack Saturday outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a child.

The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body as ministry staff reported to work. The blast wounded more than 40 people.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary was in the building at the time of the blast. He says the bomber apparently targeted a security checkpoint just outside the government building.

The explosion destroyed several nearby shops.

Mr. Karzia called on the international community to assist Afghanistan in its efforts to close down sanctuaries where extremists are trained and developed.

He told reporters earlier that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had promised this week to crack down on Islamist militants in his country.

President Bush met with the two leaders in Washington partly to try to ease tensions between them.

The two countries have accused each other of not doing enough to combat the Taleban-led insurgency in Afghanistan.

Today's bomb attack is the fifth this month in the capital. Kabul was relatively safe a year ago.

NATO officials say suicide bombers have staged 56 attacks so far this year in areas under NATO command.