At least 26 killed in Taliban, Afghan security cease-fire gathering

At least 26 killed in Taliban, Afghan security cease-fire gathering

Mr. Mulk made the comment in a telephone conversation on Friday night with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and thanked him for sharing information about Fazlullah's killing, said a Pakistan government statement. Ghani asked the Taliban to reciprocate by extending its truce. Since then, heavy clashes have repeatedly broken out across the conflict-ridden country, with dozens of deaths of Afghan soldiers and police officers.

A member of the Afghan security forces secures the site of a auto bomb attack in Kabul on 17 March 2018.

The violent incidents have made Afghanistan once again a staple of global headlines.

The Islamic State, which has been active in the area, has claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters news agency reported.

Members of rights groups organised a brief meeting between Afghan forces and Taliban insurgents in Helmand's capital city, Lashkar Gah, where the Taliban have delivered a series of blows to government forces this year.

President Ghani also informed the prime minister about positive developments following the recent ceasefire announcement, which would help pave the way for the Afghan peace process to consolidate.

A Taliban fighter on a motorbike carrying Afghan and Taliban flags warned long-lasting peace would only be achieved if U.S. forces left the country.

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A Taliban fighter on a motorbike carrying the Afghan and Taliban flags welcomed the ceasefire, but said long-lasting peace would only be achieved if USA forces left the country. Trump also pledged to support Afghan troops in their war against the Taliban and maintain American presence in the country for as long as there was a need for it. The Taliban did not immediate reply to his appeal.

People say they are exhausted of war. The Taliban now control more Afghan districts than at any other time since 2001. However, the militants have only increased their attacks.

Apart from the Taliban, Afghan warlords exercise massive influence in the country. In Kabul, others sought directions from locals to the capital's most famous ice-cream parlour.

Carrying assault weapons and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, members of Afghanistan´s biggest militant group travelled by vehicle and motorbike through the contested district of Bati Kot in eastern Nangarhar province, waving Afghan and Taliban flags. He had earlier said a rocket-propelled grenade was to blame.

A Taliban fighter told the AFP news agency that, while he welcomed the ceasefire, long-lasting peace would only be achieved if U.S. forces left the country.

"I hope that Inshallah peace will remain in Afghanistan and an Islamic government will come in to power across the world", Hasibullah, a Taliban member said. "This can not happen unless America leaves (Afghanistan)", he said.

A senior member of the Taliban's shura or council said the group would meet on Sunday to discuss Ghani's offer and that the ceasefire could be extended if a date was set for the withdrawal of United States forces.

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