Tag Archives: Kabul

Acting Pentagon chief supports Kabul role in peace talks

Acting Pentagon chief supports Kabul role in peace talksShanahan, making his first trip to Afghanistan in his new role, met U.S. troops and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Ghani’s government has been shut out of the peace talks between Taliban negotiators and U.S. envoys, with the hardline Islamist movement branding it a U.S. puppet. “It is important that the Afghan government is involved in discussions regarding Afghanistan,” Shanahan told reporters traveling with him on the previously unannounced trip.



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In Kabul, US reports 'agreements in principle' with Taliban

In Kabul, US reports 'agreements in principle' with TalibanKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Negotiators for the United States and the Taliban insurgents have reached "agreements in principle" on key issues for a peace deal that would end 17 years of war in Afghanistan, the top U.S. envoy said Monday.



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U.S peace envoy visits Kabul to consult president on talks with Taliban

U.S peace envoy visits Kabul to consult president on talks with TalibanWith Khalilzad and his boss U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well Taliban officials, hailing progress toward ending America’s longest war, he must now win over President Ashraf Ghani — whose government the Taliban have so far kept out of the process. Six days of talks ended in Qatar on Saturday with key parts of a draft pact mapped out, including an 18-month timeline for the withdrawal of foreign troops after the completion of a deal, according to Taliban officials. The draft also includes assurances from the hardline Islamic group that it will not allow Afghanistan to be used by al-Qaeda and Islamic State to attack the U.S. and its allies – a core U.S. demand.



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Nearly 30 people killed in brazen attack in Kabul

Nearly 30 people killed in brazen attack in KabulKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber and extremists armed with assault rifles and explosives attacked a government building in the Afghan capital in an eight-hour-long siege that left 29 people dead and more than 20 wounded, authorities said. It ended when the three gunmen were killed.



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A look back at the work of slain AFP photojournalist Shah Marai killed in Kabul

A look back at the work of slain AFP photojournalist Shah Marai killed in KabulAgence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, who was killed covering a suicide bombing on Monday, was a charismatic, courageous journalist who was dedicated to reporting on Afghanistan’s wrenching conflict. The 22-year veteran of the agency leaves behind two wives and six children, including his only daughter, born earlier this month — an event that brought him great joy and was celebrated with cake at the Kabul bureau just over a week ago. Marai’s versatility and easy camaraderie was demonstrated in a message moments before the second attack, in which he reassured an AFP video colleague who was stuck in traffic and could not reach the scene.



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Tributes pour in for AFP photographer slain in Kabul

Tributes pour in for AFP photographer slain in KabulFriends and colleagues of Shah Marai have reacted with shock and grief to news of the veteran AFP photographer's death in Kabul on Monday.



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Mattis in Kabul, says elements in Taliban open to peace talks

Mattis in Kabul, says elements in Taliban open to peace talksElements of the Taliban are open to talks with the Afghan government, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday, a potentially significant move that runs counter to the insurgents’ long-term refusal to talk to Kabul. Mattis flew into the war-torn nation on an unannounced visit two weeks after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani unveiled a plan to open peace talks with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s biggest militant group. The Taliban have so far given no formal response to Kabul’s offer for negotiations, but have published a lengthy statement and an online commentary that analysts say are an oblique rejection of the proposal.



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Suicide bomber kills 9 in Kabul; Taliban kill 16 in province

Suicide bomber kills 9 in Kabul; Taliban kill 16 in provinceKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Islamic State suicide bomber targeted Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras on Friday, blowing himself up at a police checkpoint near a gathering of the minority Shiites in western Kabul, killing nine people and wounding 18, officials said.



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Protest in Kabul as Afghan officials press Pakistan over attacks

Protest in Kabul as Afghan officials press Pakistan over attacksAfghan demonstrators protested outside the Pakistani embassy in Kabul on Thursday as senior Afghan officials said they had handed over evidence connecting insurgents based in Pakistan with a recent spate of attacks that killed more than 100 people. The protest, in which dozens of people burnt flags and chanted, “Death to Pakistan”, was not large, but it came during a period of heightened tension in the Afghan capital following two major attacks in the past two weeks. On Thursday, Interior Minister Wais Barmak and Masooom Stanekzai, head of the NDS intelligence service, returned from a visit to Islamabad, where they had pressed Pakistani authorities to move against Taliban leaders based in the country.



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Eleven dead as Kabul military base rocked by pre-dawn Isil attack

Eleven dead as Kabul military base rocked by pre-dawn Isil attackEleven Afghan soldiers were killed in an assault on a Kabul military base on Monday, the fourth attack in Afghanistan within 10 days. Isil yesterday claimed the attack, which began at 5am as five militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles stormed the well-defended Marshal Fahim military academy. At least 16 soldiers were wounded in the attack, which lasted over five hours and ended with four of the militants being killed – two by their own suicide vests – and one arrested. Security officials at the scene said the gunmen had used a ladder to get over a wall into the post. "The Afghan National Army is the country's defence force and makes sacrifices for the security and well-being of the people," the ministry of defence said yesterday. President Ashraf Ghani denounced the attack on Monday. Gunfire and explosions were heard coming from the academy  Credit: AP Photo/ Rahmat Gul) "We appreciate the sympathies extended to us by our international partner nations," Mr Ghani said, speaking a press conference in Kabul alongside visiting Indonesian president, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. "Thank you for standing with us." Monday's assault comes amid increased attacks by the Taliban and its regional rival Isil on civilian Afghan targets, including three in the space of a week. On Jan 20, Taliban attackers stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, killing at least 30. The Taliban claimed another attack a week later when over 100 were killed after a bomb hidden in an ambulance exploded in the heart of the city. Isil claimed an assault on the office of aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday in which six people were killed. Earlier this month, the Intercontinental hotel in Kabul was attacked by the Taliban  Credit: REUTERS/Omar Sobhani The increased attacks – also targeting military and government facilities – have put pressure on Afghanistan's more aggressive military strategy against the Taliban, in which it is backed by the United States. Kabul has become a growing target, amid government confidence that the new strategy is driving Taliban insurgents back from major provincial centres. In October last year, 15 cadets from the same military academy attacked on Monday, known as "Sandhurst in the Sand", were killed when the bus they were traveling in was targeted in a suicide bombing. Named after Mohammed Fahim, the country's late vice-president and a military commander of the Northern Alliance that fought the Taliban, the academy was inaugurated in 2013 after British forces oversaw building the officers' school and its training program. Analysts cast doubt over the claim of responsibility from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil), which do not have much of a foothold in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence accused the Taliban-linked Haqqani network of being behind the attack. The Taliban have dismissed suggestions they have been weakened and said Saturday's bombing was a message to President Donald Trump. "The Islamic Emirate has a clear message for Trump and his hand kissers, that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don't expect Afghans to grow flowers in response," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. “Today’s attack, in a series of attacks in the last couple of weeks and likely more attacks in the coming weeks, can be counted as response to the aggressive strategy that the government of Afghanistan has been following.”



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