Tearful Karzai Decries Violence as Bomber Killes Deputy Governor, 5 Others

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A tearful President Hamid Karzai is decrying the violence plaguing Afghanistan.

Karzai was reacting to a suicide bombing that killed a deputy provincial governor and five other people in the eastern province of Ghazni today. The Taliban and other insurgents groups have instituted an assassination campaign targeting people who work with the Afghan government or NATO forces.

Karzai says the violence is keeping young people from going to school. And, at an appearance in Kabul, he worried that it will eventually force them to flee the country. He broke into tears as he spoke of his 4-year-old son potentially growing up, in his words, "to be a foreigner."

He also directed a message to the Taliban, calling them his "countrymen," saying "do not destroy your own soil to benefit others."

The remarks and the attack came as the Afghan government announced the appointment of 70 people to a High Peace Council. Its aim is to reconcile with Taliban leaders and ordinary insurgents who renounce violence, embrace Afghanistan's constitution and sever ties with terrorists.