Taliban storm hotel building in west Afghanistan

Clay Curtis
July 14, 2019

The assault took place in Qala-i-Naw, the capital of the western province of Badghis when attackers struck a commercial area housing the hotel and several shops in the small city.

Meanwhile, a U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement today.

Mujahed said two US service personnel were killed when Taliban militants attacked a tank in Sayed Abad district of central Wardak province, barely 40 miles south of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Four members of the Afghan security forces were killed and 20 people wounded, including civilians, the ministry said.

The four countries held talks in Beijing from July 11-12 amid US and worldwide efforts to end the almost 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Mirage jets attacked JeM's Balakot terror camp at Manshera in Pakistan after the Feb 14 strike by a Jaish suicide-bomber on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir.

The killings occurred a day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a quick visit to the Afghan capital of Kabul where he said Washington was hopeful of a peace deal before September 1.

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The Taliban refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, calling it a USA puppet, but have said they would talk with government officials if they arrive at the meeting as ordinary Afghans.

The Hindustan Times reported that both the Pakistan-based groups have joined hands with the Afghan Taliban and Afghan insurgent group, Haqqani Network, across the Durand Line that separates Pakistan from Afghanistan, for training their extremist cadre in subversive activity.

The death was the first by a service member in Afghanistan this month.

The violence comes amid intensified US -led efforts to strike a deal with the Taliban to bring an end to the 18-year-old Afghan war. Pompeo said the United States and the Taliban were close to a deal on countering terrorism.

Taliban claimed responsibility of the attack and said their attackers are fighting the security forces.

The report also added that "This strains limited resources and heightens regional tensions".

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