Afghan Activists Push for Peace Talks
Activists launch growing anti-war movement
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2008 5:15 PM CDT
Wrapped dead bodies of Afghans, who were killed allegedly by allied airstrikes in Nad Ali district of Helmand province, are seen at the back of a vehicle in the city of Lashkar Gah.   (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)
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(Newser) – More and more Afghan activists are pushing for a negotiated end to their country’s increasingly violent war, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Thousands have attended peace assemblies throughout Afghanistan, aimed at forcing the government to open public talks with the Taliban. "We need to pressure the Afghan government and the international community to find a solution without using guns,” one activist says.

International Peace Day in Afghanistan, coordinated by a youth antiwar group, saw a remarkable lull in fighting as both sides mostly laid down their arms. Saudi Arabia recently hosted secret talks between Afghan government representatives and former Taliban members, but some critics want the negotiations to be open and in Afghanistan: "We don't want interference from foreign countries or negotiations behind closed doors," one says.