Germany says Afghan attack attempt to strike at reconstruction

November 7, 2007 - 0:0

BERLIN (AFP) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned Tuesday's suicide attack on a group of Afghan lawmakers which killed 40 people, saying it was an attempt to dissuade those trying to rebuild the country.

""It was supposed to scare off people who have committed themselves to the reconstruction of the country and want to give their country the prospect of a bright future,"" Steinmeier said.
The attack must not discourage the international community from helping Afghanistan, he said.
""The people of Afghanistan are counting on us not to desert them.""
Germany's Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said the attack, the deadliest since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, was an ""abominable and abhorrent crime.""
The minister said the sugar factory in northern Afghanistan where the attack took place had received financial support from Germany and provided work for 2,500 farmers in an attempt to dissuade them from growing poppies for heroin.
The bomber struck in Baghlan in northern Afghanistan, which has seen relatively little of the daily violence in the south of the country which has been shaken by a Taliban insurgency.
About 3,000 German troops are stationed in northern Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.