Relatives of Sept. 11 Victims Are Meeting Afghan Families

Initiative of Global Exchange, an NGO

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KABUL, Afghanistan, JAN. 16, 2002 ( A group of relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States arrived here Tuesday to meet Afghan families, victims of U.S. bombings.

The initiative was organized by Global Exchange, an American nongovernmental organization that seeks to reconcile the two nations, following three months of bombings.

About 2,800 victims died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Global Exchange sources estimate that between 4,000 and 5,000 Afghan civilians have died in the military campaign against Osama bin Laden that followed.

Derril Bodley was a member of the group that arrived in Kabul. A Californian music professor, Bodley´s eldest daughter, Deora, 20, was a passenger in the hijacked plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Rita Lasar, 70, also in the group, lost her brother in the attack on the World Trade Center, and Kelly Campbell, lost her brother in the attack on the Pentagon. Two other Americans, who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers, were members of the mission to Kabul.

During eight days, the group will meet Afghan families who lost loved ones in the war. The group will also visit a Kabul hospital.

«In this way the Afghans will be able to see that United States citizens are not indifferent to their situation, and the Americans will be able to understand better the tragedy of the Afghan people,» the organizers said.

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