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Afghan exiles condemn Taliban

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (CNN) -- A meeting of exiled Afghan mujahedeen commanders, tribal elders and religious leaders ended Thursday with a resolution condemning terrorism and blaming Afghanistan's Taliban leaders for the U.S. bombing of the central Asian nation.

But the group also came down firmly against the introduction of international ground troops in Afghanistan.

CNN's Rebecca MacKinnon said more than 50 people traveled to Peshawar from Afghanistan's Nangrahar province for the meeting, organized by former mujahedeen commander Haji Zaman.

Zaman fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan but has lived in exile for several years after the Taliban's takeover.

The group members were from the Pashtun ethnic group, Afghanistan's largest.

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The Taliban have drawn much of their support from the Pashtun over the past two years.

The group approved a six point resolution that began with an explicit condemnation of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

"We condemn it because we are the followers of Islam and Islam rejects such acts," the resolution said.

The group laid the fault for the subsequent U.S.-led bombing campaign on the ruling Taliban, calling on the Taliban to end the bombing by "handing over power to the people," pledging to support whomever the Afghan people choose as a leader, and calling for help to rebuild the country.

In the resolution's remaining two points, the group rejected "the presence of foreign troops" as well as terrorist bases in Afghanistan.

"We do not want these bases in the future," the statement said. "Islam protects therights of all people ... we will stop and resist such [terrorist] acts."

While the group meeting in Peshawar was apparently preparing to battle the Taliban and the terrorists who have set up camp in Afghanistan, some members of the group privately expressed frustration that the United States was not providing them with military and financial assistance.


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