Karzai calls for an end to Taliban violence

President Hamid Karzai blamed foreign militants for fanning the violence raging across Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to stop fighting and join forces with the new government. Meanwhile, Afghan and coalition troops arrested 10 Taliban militants in a large-scale operation Friday in southern Kandahar province, and a senior Afghan police official narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle near the city of Kandahar, wounding two guards. Taliban militants also kidnapped an Indian mobile phone contractor on Friday after stopping his car at gunpoint on the Kandahar-Kabul highway in the southern Zabul province, said Ali Khail, a provincial government spokesman. Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, said the group's "higher authorities" would soon decide his fate.