KABUL, Afghanistan -- Clashes and bombings killed 34 Taliban fighters and one policeman in Afghanistan, while President Hamid Karzai told the United Nations yesterday that terrorist sanctuaries elsewhere must be destroyed to eliminate the violence engulfing his country.
In a clear reference to neighboring Pakistan, Karzai told the UN General Assembly in New York that ``terrorism does not emanate from within Afghanistan" but that his country ``is its worst victim."
``We must destroy terrorist sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan, dismantle the elaborate networks in the region," he told world leaders. ``We must ensure that political currents and entities in the region are not allowed to use extremism as an instrument of policy."
Karzai's call for military action against terrorist cells outside Afghanistan comes about two weeks after Pakistan signed a truce with Taliban-linked militants in the tribal North West Frontier Province where the government has little control.
Under the terms of that deal, Pakistani troops agreed to end their military campaign against fighters in North Waziristan, while the militants said they would halt their attacks on Pakistani forces and stop crossing into Afghanistan to launch ambushes.
In Washington, NATO's top commander, US General James L. Jones, said after weeks of prodding, European nations have agreed to provide more troops for the alliance in Afghanistan. Romania has agreed to send a battalion in October, and the United Kingdom and Canada are adding to their forces, Jones said.
Police, meanwhile, recovered the bodies of seven suspected Taliban fighters after a two-hour clash with police early yesterday in a mountainous southern region of Helmand Province, district police chief Ghulam Rasool said.
NATO-led soldiers killed up to 10 suspected insurgents in Helmand's Garmser district Tuesday, a NATO statement said. There were no NATO casualties.
Afghanistan has been sustaining its heaviest insurgent attacks since the Taliban regime was toppled in late 2001. On Monday, three bombings killed at least 19 people, including four Canadian soldiers.
Suspected Taliban fighters ambushed police in Ghazni Province on Tuesday, and the provincial police chief, Tafseer Khan, said that 13 fighters were killed, though no bodies were recovered. Khan also said two police and about 17 fighters were wounded in the fight in Giro district.
Four insurgents were killed in a clash with Afghan soldiers in eastern Paktika Province Tuesday, a Defense Ministry statement said, while in the central province of Wardak, one policeman was killed and two wounded after dozens of fighters attacked police, said Mohammed Hassan, the deputy provincial police chief.
Karzai told the UN assembly that millions of Afghans have voted in elections and the country's per capita income has doubled since 2002. But he said an increase in terrorist attacks has resulted in schools and medical clinics being razed, and the country's schools now have 200,000 fewer students than two years ago.