Security Forces Killed In Afghanistan In Two Separate Taliban Attacks

Clay Curtis
October 14, 2018

The attack took place after many Taliban attacked the Meezan district and started clashes with the security forces, the officials said, adding that "Asad Mama was killed in the attack".

The U.S. embassy, in a Saturday statement, said Khalilzad returned to Kabul for "follow-up" meetings with the Afghan leadership and civil society representatives to hear their "views and priorities" on a settlement to the conflict.

Khalilzad arrived in Kabul on Saturday and briefed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about his 10-day tour of four countries, which ended with the meeting with leaders of the hardline militant group.

As Afghan security forces struggle to provide security, the USA has been seeking peace talks with the leaders of the Taliban insurgency. "The representatives of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) called the presence of foreign troops as the main hindrance for solution of the problems and for restoration of genuine peace", Mujahid said.

Afghan Taliban agree to USA talks. "All citizens of Afghanistan must be a part of this reconciliation process", the statement quoted Khalilzad as saying.

The Taliban have generally insisted on negotiating only with the United States, saying they will not enter talks unless U.S. troops leave the country.

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"The Trump administration and Ghani's government are now banking on Khalilzad to find a diplomatic way to end the war with the Taliban", said a top Western diplomat in Kabul.

A statement from the Afghan president's office on October 13 said Khalilzad told Ghani and Abdullah that the United States was "ready to do anything to help with the peace process", but insisted the process should be led by the Afghan government.

The Taliban now controls or contest almost half of Afghanistan and it continues to inflict heavy casualties on Afghan security forces, bringing more territory under its control.

Earlier in July, Alice Wells, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, also met Taliban representatives in Doha, a conference which was described by the participants as "talks about talks", according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Pakistan fully supports the policy of negotiations with Taliban, it is a shared responsibility to bring the Taliban to the negotiation table and no single country can be expected to undertake this task unilaterally", Mohammad Faisal, spokesman of the Foreign Ministry told reporters on Thursday.

At least 8,050 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of 2018, nearly half of them targeted by suicide bomb attacks and other improvised devices that may amount to war crimes, the United Nations said last week.

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