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Warring Afghan sides focus on peace talks as lethal blast hits mosque

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KABUL: Negotiators from the Afghan authorities and Taliban groups met Friday to debate rushing up stalled peace talks, officers from either side stated, as a lethal mosque blast shattered the calm of a vacation ceasefire in Afghanistan.

Regardless of unprecedented talks opening in September in Doha, the 2 warring sides have struggled to make headway, with violence escalating in Afghanistan as america pulls out the final of its troops.

“Today a meeting was held in Doha between the delegations of both negotiating sides,” the Afghan authorities´s peace crew tweeted.

The events “emphasized speeding up the peace talks in Doha”, it added.

In an analogous assertion posted to Twitter, the Taliban stated “both sides agreed to continue the talks after (Eid al-Fitr)”, which ends on Saturday.

A 3-day ceasefire agreed by the warring sides got here into drive on Thursday to mark the Muslim vacation, after weeks of lethal violence.

However the calm was damaged by a blast at a mosque on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, which killed 12 folks together with the imam main Friday prayers.

No group has up to now claimed the assault and the Taliban denied duty.

A spokesman for the inside ministry stated the explosives had been positioned within the mosque forward of the prayers.

Afghans have been cautiously having fun with the uncommon respite from violence, solely the fourth such truce within the two decades-long battle.

Ceasefires up to now have largely held, in what’s broadly considered an train by the Taliban management to show it has management over the myriad factions throughout the nation that make up the hardline motion.

– US exit from key airfield base –

As violence has soared, together with a wave of focused killings on Afghanistan´s educated class, worldwide efforts have been made to leap begin the talks — together with a at some point convention in Moscow in March attended by representatives on either side, in addition to Russia, america, China and Pakistan.

Turkey was additionally scheduled to carry an Afghanistan convention in late April but it surely was postponed indefinitely as a result of the Taliban declined to attend.

The USA, Russia and different mediators need to see some type of transitional authorities take energy in Afghanistan involving the Taliban, however President Ashraf Ghani has insisted leaders can solely be chosen on the poll field.

Having made huge positive aspects on the battleground, the Taliban seem to have little to achieve from both technique.

Washington has vowed to finish America´s longest battle however missed a deadline earlier this month to withdraw all of its troops, as agreed with the Taliban in return for safety ensures and a promise to launch talks with the Afghan authorities, who had been reduce out of the deal.

President Joe Biden pushed again the date to September 11 — 20 years after the US invaded Afghanistan and ousted the hardline Taliban.

US and Afghan officers on Friday stated Washington had pulled out fully from a significant southern air base within the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, only a week after US airstrikes had been launched from the airfield to push again a Taliban offensive.

An Afghan military officer at Kandahar Airfield, who requested to not be named, informed AFP that authorities forces could be left uncovered by the pullout.

“It is now going to be very difficult for us to conduct operations,” he stated. “Our aircraft can´t fly at night so the night operations are going to be difficult.”

Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has in latest months seen intense clashes between the resurgent militants and Afghan forces.

Regardless of the withdrawal, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone name to President Ashraf Ghani promised “steadfast support” for Afghan forces, the State Division stated, including that he condemned he latest assaults, together with a collection of blasts outdoors a women´ college in Kabul which killed greater than 50 folks, largely teenage women.

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