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      Karzai Asks Clerics to Oppose Turban Bombs

      Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called on clerics to speak out against a recent wave of turban bombs in the country.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 8/10/2011, 6:37 PM

      Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on clerics to speak out against a recent wave of turban bombs Wednesday.

      The call comes after attackers carried out two high-profile suicide bombings last month by hiding explosives in their turbans, traditionally worn by many Afghan men as a symbol of Islamic belief.
       
      The first turban bomb attack killed several people at a memorial service for Karzai's assassinated brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, and the second the mayor of Kandahar, the biggest city in southern Afghanistan.
       
      Following the attacks, Karzai met members of an influential clerical council, the Ulema Shura, to urge them to speak out against this means of attack saying it was contrary to Islamic values.
       
      "The terrorists have recently resorted to using the turban to hide suicide bombs. This act is against the values of Islam and Afghan traditions," Karzai spokesman Hamid Elmi said.
       
      "The turban is a symbol of dignity and religion in Afghanistan. The president called on the Ulema to denounce this act of terrorists in the mosques and amongst the people," Elmi added.
       
      Hamid said Karzai also called on clerics to condemn insurgents hiding bombs under the burqa, the garment worn by Afghan women to cover the head and the whole body.
       
      A number of men wearing suicide vests under burqas have been arrested in recent months. 
       
      The Taliban have been leading an insurgency against Karzai's government and Western forces in Afghanistan for nearly 10 years and suicide bombings are one of their most deadly tactics.