orty-three Afghans were killed in a string of shootings and bombings across the country on Tuesday, as Muslims were preparing for the Id al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan this weekend. It was the deadliest day for civilians this year, marking an escalation of a campaign by Taliban insurgents to destabilize Afghanistan as the U.S. and NATO prepare to withdraw most foreign troops and hand over security control to Afghans in 2014. President Hamid Karzai, traveling in Saudi Arabia, condemned the attacks, saying: "The terrorists are so desperate and abject that they kill our innocent Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan."
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