Taliban officials and senior Afghan political leaders met in Moscow on Tuesday for peace talks, despite objections from Afghanistan’s government, which criticized the meeting as undermining its legitimacy.
Tuesday’s talks were attended by around 70 political and social leaders from Afghanistan, among them former president Hamid Karzai, who said they hoped it could build trust and lay a foundation for a future political settlement that might help end the war. Members of Afghanistan’s U.S-backed government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, refused to attend the talks on the grounds that it will only engage in direct talks with the Taliban, and not alongside other Afghan political actors.
After more than 17 years of fighting and 2,248 American troop deaths, negotiators for the United States and Taliban reached “agreements in principle” on a possible peace deal that would end the longest war in US history, a top American envoy said Monday. In exchange for US troop withdrawals, the Taliban committed to ensure the country never becomes a haven for terrorists, as it was for al Qaeda in the years leading to the 9/11 attacks.
Dozens of Afghan security personnel were killed by Taliban militants who overran a military intelligence base near Kabul, officials have confirmed. Insurgents blew their way into the base using a car bomb before opening fire. Some reports put the toll at over 100. It is one of the deadliest attacks on the secret service and follows a string of battlefield setbacks for the army. Monday’s attack on the National Directorate for Security (NDS) base in central Wardak province came hours before the Taliban held another round of peace talks with US diplomats in Qatar.
An hours-long gun and suicide attack on a Kabul government compound killed at least 43 people, the health ministry said on Tuesday, making it one of the deadliest assaults on the Afghan capital this year. Another 10 people were wounded in Monday’s massacre on a site where the ministry of public works and an office that handles pensions and benefits for war veterans are located, spokesman Waheed Majroh said.
At least 50 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a religious scholar’s wedding gathering in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday. There were at least another 83 people injured in what was one of the deadliest Kabul attacks in months. The Taliban condemned the attack and denied any involvement.
Brent Taylor the mayor of North Ogden, Utah was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday. Taylor held dual roles as the mayor of North Ogden and a soldier in the Utah National Guard. Taylor had previously served in Afghanistan along with two tours of duty in Iraq. Authorities believe Taylor died in an ‘inside attack.’
A police chief was killed by his own guard in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province at a security conference. The Taliban said the target had been General Scott Miller the US NATO commander in Afghanistan. Miller escaped the ‘insider attack’ while Kandahar governor Zalmay Wesa and spy chief Abdul Momin were also killed. Two Americans were wounded.
The gunmen who opened fire on guests at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul have been killed by Afghan special forces, putting an end to the ordeal, which began Saturday night. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which left at least 18 dead, with unconfirmed local reports putting the death toll at 43.
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan commented on Tuesday rejecting reports that commander General John Nicholson said the US was ready to join direct negotiations with the Taliban, saying the comments were ‘mischaracterized.’ Reports claimed the Trump administration ordered top officials to seek direct talks in an effort to end the 17-year war.
A suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan killed at least 57 people and wounded another 119 on Sunday as they waited to register to vote at a government office. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was aimed at ‘apostate’ Shiites. The attack raises concerns about violence undermining Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections.