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The Mideast

Afghan President Karzai asks Pakistan to fight extremism

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has written letters to top political and religious leaders in Pakistan, denouncing the Taliban attack on a Pakistani teenager who is promoting girls' education and asking them to help battle extremism in both countries.

Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai was shot by the Taliban on Oct. 9 on her way home from school. She is widely respected for being an activist for girls' education in Pakistan.

Karzai's office said in a statement issued late Saturday that the president wrote that the attack on Yousufzai indicated that both Afghanistan and Pakistan need to take coordinated steps to fight terrorism and extremism.

Karzai wrote that he views the shooting, which has set off an international outcry, as an attack on Afghanistan's girls as well.