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Karzai calls on Taleban to drop weapons.

KABUL: Afghanistan's president called on the Taleban yesterday to relinquish their weapons, saying that the group and its leader should join the political process.

The call by Hamid Karzai was the latest peace appeal to the Taleban and Mullah Mohammed Omar. All past requests have been ignored by the insurgency -- which refuses to directly engage the government.

"Mullah Mohammad Omar can come to any part of Afghanistan he wants to. He can open political office for himself but he should drop the gun," Karzai said at a nationally televised news conference held at the presidential palace.

Earthquake Buildings shook in the Afghan capital Kabul yester2day as an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 struck in the northern Hindu Kush region, according to a preliminary report by the US Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the remote region, but two slightly smaller quakes last month triggered landslides that killed at least 75 villagers.

In Kabul Thursday, office workers felt their chairs shake briefly and desk lamps swayed as the tremor hit.

n FROM: AGENCIES The quake struck some 72 km south south east of Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan province, and 121 km northwest of Chitral in Pakistan at a depth of 190 kilometers, the USGS said.

Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially in the Hindu Kush, which lies near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jul 13, 2012
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