US Envoy Visits Pakistan, Afghanistan Amid Violence

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2009 1:09 PM CST
Afghan security forces run for the site of Afghan Justice Ministry following an attack in Kabul yeserday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, arrived in the region yesterday as waves of killings were washing over both countries, the BBC reports. While touring Pakistan’s volatile frontier region, a local official was killed by a roadside bomb. At the same time in Afghanistan, where Holbrooke arrived today, suicide bombers killed 20 in Kabul, the New York Times reports.

The violence underscores the mission President Obama has laid on Holbrooke: to rework US policy on the region. In Pakistan, the special envoy met with key figures in government and opposition leaders in a “listen and learn” tour. He had called the situation in that country “dire” before departing the States. The attacks in Afghanistan yesterday are thought to have been planned by a Pakistani group.