Thursday, 23 January, 2020

Doors Open For "Negotiations" With US, Says Taliban After Deadly Attacks

Taliban suicide attacks kill at least 48 before Afghan elections Afghan security forces at the site of the blast in Kabul
Robin Buchanan | 19 September, 2019, 14:05

Afghan security forces work at the site of a suicide attack near the US Embassy in Kabul.

Ghani, who is seeking a second five-year term in voting on September 28, was due to address a rally in Charikar, the capital of central Parwan province, when a bomber attacked the gathering. So far, no group claimed responsibility for the bombing which appears to be a second high-profile attack on Afghan government in just one day.

The militants have vowed to disrupt the upcoming presidential election slated for September 28. The attack was claimed by the Taliban, in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, north of Kabul.

Tensions between the terror organisation and the Afghan government had made negotiations between them hard, as the Taliban condemns President Ashraf Ghani's government and calls him a USA puppet.

A suicide attack was followed by a gun battle at an identity card distribution center in Afghanistan's Jalalabad city on Wednesday, an official said.

While AP put the toll at 26, Gulf Today reported citing police and health officials that at least 30 were killed and 45 were injured in the blast.

Although the Afghan president witnessed the explosion first hand, Hamed Aziz, his campaign spokesman, reportedly indicated that he is "safe and unharmed".

The explosions came after US President Donald Trump abruptly ended talks with the Taliban earlier this month over a deal that would have allowed the US to begin withdrawing troops from its longest war. He said Pakistan fully supports the Afghan efforts for restoring complete peace and stability in the country through the strengthening of the democratic process in Afghanistan.

There were many women and children among the casualties in the bombing near Ghani's rally, said Dr. Qasim Sangin, a local official. The Taliban had said it would target election campaigns as well as polling stations and warned Afghans not to vote in the election.

The victor is hoping for a mandate to negotiate with the Taliban for a lasting peace in the country suffering from decades of violence.

For weeks, the election had been sidelined by the US-Taliban talks, with many Afghans and observers expecting the vote to be cancelled if a deal was agreed.

Trump had talked about the United States change into once walking away from negotiations after practically a pair of year of grinding diplomatic efforts to strike a deal that can pave the plot in which for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan following 18 years of battle.


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