Two civilians were killed and more than 70 people were wounded in a suicide bombing for which the Taliban claimed responsibility Wednesday, targeting an under-construction medical facility near Bagram Air Base, the main American base north of the Afghan capital, the U.S. military said.
On a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Thursday, President Trump said that the United States has reopened peace talks with the Taliban – just three months after the president scuttled negotiations between Washington and the Afghan insurgents following a terror attack that killed 11 people, including one U.S. soldier.
Trump, who made his first trip to Afghanistan under a veil of secrecy for security reasons, told troops gathered at the Air Force base for Thanksgiving dinner that the Taliban “wants to make a deal very badly.”
“We’re going to stay until such time as we have a deal, or we have total victory, and they want to make a deal very badly,” Trump said. “The Taliban wants to make a deal — we’ll see if they make a deal. If they do, they do, and if they don’t they don’t. That’s fine.”
“We hope to have good news soon for our Muslim, independence-seeking nation,” said Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office in Doha.
The explosion occurred after the U.S. and Taliban reported progress in peace talks in Qatar earlier this week, and was the latest in a series of explosions and suicide attacks in Afghanistan.
Source: : NPR
The grand assembly is meeting in Kabul this week to discuss peace and called for an immediate ceasefire between the government and militants.
President Ashraf Ghani agreed to a truce provided it was not “one-sided”.
But the Taliban rejected the call and accused members of being government allies.
In 2018 the Taliban agreed a three-day ceasefire coinciding with Eid at the end of the holy month of Ramadan – their first since the 2001 US-led invasion.
Speaking at the meeting of the loya jirga – a grand tribal council attended by 3,200 religious leaders, politicians and representatives from across the country – Mr Ghani said: “Let us prove that only Western countries cannot solve this conflict. There is also human civilisation here.”