World

Afghan violence: Scores injured in attack amid US-Taliban talks

An Afghan soldier patrols in front of a bombed out building in Kabul Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Taliban has mounted a deadly insurgency campaign since their toppling in 2001

At least 14 people have died and nearly 150 injured after a car bomb targeted a police station in the Afghan capital Kabul.

The explosion sent a large cloud of smoke into the sky and most of those wounded were civilians.

The Taliban have claimed the blast, which comes amid peace talks between them and US.

Both sides say there has been progress in the negotiations, which aim to bring a nearly 18-year war to an end.

The Taliban said it had targeted a “recruitment” centre and it had killed a large number of police and soldiers.

Is Afghanistan any closer to peace?

An end to the violence that has plagued Afghanistan for years is still some way off but the positive signals given after this weekend’s talks have raised hopes of a breakthrough.

US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad had cited “excellent progress” in the weekend’s talks in Qatar, and said that technical discussions would continue.

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Media captionEarlier this year, the BBC was given exclusive access to Afghan ambulance workers

The deal includes a phased US troop pullout in exchange for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used by extremist groups to attack American targets.

The Taliban would also begin negotiations with an Afghan delegation on a framework for peace including an eventual ceasefire. The militants have been refusing to negotiate with the Afghan government until a timetable for the US withdrawal is agreed upon.

The Taliban now controls more territory than at any point since it was toppled from power in 2001.

Figures this year revealed Afghan and US forces killed more civilians in Afghanistan in the first half of 2019 than insurgents did.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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