The Afghan opposition's envoy to Iran, Mohammad Kheirkhah, said Saturday he hoped the United States would not attack his country in retaliation for the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and that any attack should "spare the people."
The Taliban, the fundamentalist militia that controls most of Afghanistan, is harboring Saudi Islamic fundamentalist militant Osama bin Laden, who is the key suspect in those attacks.
"I hope that my country is not the target of an American attack," Kheirkhah told AFP. "But if, in the context of the anti-terrorist battle, the Americans want to do something, let them act only against terrorists, while sparing the people," he said.
"Any action against terrorists should target the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and their Pakistani protectors," he added. "If the action is a blind act, and innocent people suffer, then of course we are against it."
According to the Kheirkhah, the attacks in New York and Washington took place because of the "negligence of the world via-a-vis terrorism.
"One should destroy the roots of terrorism," he said.
Questioned on the reported death of Ahmad Shah Masood, the Afghan opposition commander, Kheirkhah affirmed that it would not "weaken resistance" against the Taliban.
"Our fight does not depend on a single person. This drama will revive the anger of our people who will come out of this strengthened," he said.
Kheirkhah said there is great concern in Afghanistan and that many people want to flee the country and seek refuge in Iran or Pakistan, but that the Taliban are preventing them from doing so -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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