KABUL (Reuters) – An Afghan government delegation due to meet Taliban representatives for a second round of official peace talks next week will press for a ceasefire in the fighting, a negotiator said on Saturday.
Any temporary reduction in attacks would represent a breakthrough and boost the legitimacy of the budding peace process aimed at ending the 13-year-old war that kills hundreds of Afghans each month.
KABUL (Reuters) – China is likely to host a second round of peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives next week, an Afghan official said on Friday, raising hopes for progress toward a political settlement to end years of bloodshed.
China is increasingly worried about insurgency in the region spilling over into its territory and has been playing a role to broker a peace deal between Kabul and the Taliban insurgents.
KABUL (Reuters) – An article on a Taliban website highlighted divisions on Thursday over landmark peace talks with Kabul, but an Afghan government minister played down suggestions that the militants’ leaders were split.
The two sides, which have fought each other since the U.S. invasion that overthrew the hardline Islamist Taliban in 2001, held a first official meeting in Pakistan on Wednesday to discuss the escalating conflict, which kills hundreds of Afghans each month.
KABUL (Reuters) – If Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was savoring inaugural peace talks with Taliban insurgents held in Pakistan on Wednesday, celebrations of the milestone he has worked so hard to reach may be short-lived.
Back in Kabul, the 66-year-old faces growing discontent from lawmakers who are making life difficult on several fronts nine months after he took office.
KABUL/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A delegation from Afghanistan’s president is meeting representatives of the Taliban in the Pakistani capital, officials said, in the first publicly acknowledged talks with the insurgents fighting to topple the government in Kabul.
The tentative step toward full peace negotiations aimed at ending more than 13 years of war is being observed by U.S. and Chinese officials, according to Qazi Khalilullah, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday he had sent a delegation to Pakistan to meet with representatives of the Taliban, his first acknowledgement of official talks with the insurgents fighting to topple the government in Kabul.
The tentative step toward full peace negotiations aimed at ending more than 13 years of war came hours after suspected Taliban suicide bomb attacks in the Afghan capital struck a convoy of foreign troops and a compound of the country’s intelligence agency.
KABUL (Reuters) – A suicide car bomber slammed into a land cruiser carrying foreign forces in Kabul on Tuesday, wounding at least two people, Afghan and foreign officials said, in the second such attack by the Taliban within a week.
Elsewhere in the capital, gunfire and an explosion were heard as insurgents entered a building close to an installation used by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, a police official said. No further details were immediately available.
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declined to intervene on Sunday in the case of four men convicted over the mob killing of a young woman, despite public anger over the fact their initial death sentences have been replaced by prison terms.
The woman, named Farkhunda, was beaten to death by a crowd and set on fire in central Kabul in March after being falsely accused of burning a copy of the Koran.
KABUL (Reuters) – An Afghan soldier hailed as a hero for defending parliament from a Taliban assault has been arrested after a fatal traffic accident in Kabul involving a car he had been given as a reward, the Ministry of Interior said on Thursday.
Essa Khan became an overnight sensation in Afghanistan after he shot Taliban gunmen trying to enter parliament on June 22 following a car bomb outside the complex in an attack that killed a woman and a child.
KABUL (Reuters) – An appeals court in Afghanistan’s capital has set aside death sentences for four men convicted in the mob killing of a woman accused of burning a Koran, media and a judge said Thursday.
Three of those had their sentences reduced to 20 years in jail, while the fourth was re-sentenced to 10 years, according to a judge familiar with the case that prompted street protests and a debate on women’s rights.