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Int'l Conference on Afghan Held, 2 Explosions Wound 8 in Kabul
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An international conference on Afghan reconstruction was held on Wednesday in Tokyo, with representatives from more than 60 donor countries and international organizations and agencies gathering for the second time to hold discussion on topics of security, economic development and further financial donations for the war-torn country.

In an opening remarks, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso praised Afghanistan for having made "great strides towards peace, stability and democracy," and called on the international society to give continued support for Afghan people's rebuilding efforts.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai appreciated donor countries' and international agencies' support in the past several years, and asked the international community to go on with its generosity to help his country on economic recovery and infrastructure reconstruction.

The one-day Second Tokyo Conference on Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan, jointly chaired by Japan, Afghan and the United Nations, will conclude in the afternoon with a chairman's summary.

The first conference was held in Tokyo in February 2003.

Meanwhile, two explosions shocked Afghan capital Kabul in a span of 10 minutes in the morning rush hour Wednesday, wounding eight persons, an official at the office of the Interior Ministry confirmed.

"The first explosion at 7:20 AM targeted a bus of the government employees in Joi Shir area, injuring four persons, while the second at 7:30 AM in Khari Khana area hurt four employees of the Commerce Ministry," the official told Xinhua but declined to be named.

The first explosion targeted a bus of the employees of Afghanistan National Army, wounding four army staff including a lady. But witnesses said seven persons were injured.

Five more persons including an employee of the Interior Ministry and four passersby were also injured in Tuesday's twin explosions in Kabul.

Meanwhile, a man named Hanif, who claims to speak for Taliban militants, accepted responsibility, saying remnants of the former fundamentalist regime carried out the attacks. Taliban militants, who staged a violent comeback, have intensified their attacks over the past two months during which some 600 have been killed.

Over 1000 people, mostly militants, have been killed in Taliban-linked insurgency over the past six months, according to official sources.

(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2006)

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