KABUL, April 30: Former Afghan king Mohammed Zahir Shah said on Tuesday he was involved in talks with local tribal leaders in a bid to end bloodshed in the troubled eastern province of Paktia.

“I have had some contact with the tribal leaders in these areas and I am trying my best to calm down the situation and come to an understanding among them,” Zahir Shah said in his first foreign media interview since returning recently from a 29-year exile in Italy.

“What I have heard about this and what I know up until now I feel sorry that such things should happen even on a small level.” At least 115 people were killed or injured over the weekend when forces loyal to local warlord Padsha Khan fired scores of rockets at the Paktia capital Gardez in a bid to oust governor Taj Mohammad Wardak.—AFP

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