Karzai's visit to Sri Lanka has been cancelled, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's office said, but gave no reasons for the cancellation.

Karzai was to arrive here this afternoon on a two-day visit.

The sudden cancellation came as Afghan officials said the Taliban stormed an army outpost in the eastern province of Kunar, killing 20 soldiers and kidnapping another seven.

In Kabul, Karzai's office said the president is saddened by this tragic incident, and therefore cancelled the official trip to Sri Lanka.

He was scheduled to have bilateral talks with President Mahinda Rajapakasa.

Karzai was also to offer floral tributes at the War Memorial near Sri Lankan parliament and to inaugurate the new Embassy of Afghanistan in Colombo on Monday.

Afghan Foreign Minister Ahmed Moqbel would now declare open the Embassy, Sri Lankan officials said.


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