Taliban officials 'in talks with Afghan government', U.S. says

Marines launch the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System from a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System during Operation Steel Knight aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Calif. Dec. 7 2017. (Pfc. William Chockey  Marine Corps

Marines launch the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System from a Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System during Operation Steel Knight aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms Calif. Dec. 7 2017. (Pfc. William Chockey Marine Corps

The attack - one of at least three that occurred in Afghanistan on Wednesday - targeted the Interior Ministry's compound a few hundred yards from Kabul's airport and a coalition air base where Americans and their allies train Afghan forces.

Special forces rushed to the scene after the attackers detonated what police said was a vehicle bomb at the first checkpoint leading to the ministry, then tried to battle their way inside.

Army spokesman Abdul Qadeir Bahadorzai said the early morning operation on May 31 freed 103 people held in two prisons run by the Taliban in Kajaki district.

"He is a very thoughtful guy [and] a very analytical person", Mr. Sedney said of Gen. Miller, with whom he worked closely during the two-star general's stint as head of all US special operations forces in Afghanistan in 2013.

Nicholson said the Taliban commanders had assembled upon returning from the western province of Farah, where their fighters had attacked multiple security checkpoints and briefly taken control of the provincial city of the same name.

Nicholson's remarks came hours after Afghan security guards foiled a suspected Taliban attack on the Interior Ministry in Kabul.

Gen. Daud Amin, the Kabul police chief, said seven attackers were killed and that cleanup operations were underway.

Petrol price cut by 60 paise per litre, diesel by 56 paise
Oil Companies have absorbed the Price Hike for 19 days to prevent Public Backlash for BJP during the Karnataka Elections. Interestingly, Kerala is the first state to take up such initiative in order to bring down the fuel prices.

"We think the meeting was to plan next steps", O'Donnell said.

Some Taliban leaders are participating in private talks with Afghanistan government officials to jumpstart peace talks, even as fighting endures in the 16-year war, the top US commander in the country said Wednesday.

On May 24, they were spotted in a known Taliban command center in Musa Qala.

"This was a civilian residential area, which had no connection with the Taliban", spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said in a statement.

In the past, the Taliban have mostly refused to talk to the Afghan government, a longstanding U.S. demand. "As we continue the season of fighting and talking, we will continue to increase pressure on the Taliban and remain vigilant to opportunities for negotiated peace".

The report to Congress by inspectors general of the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development also cast doubt on the administration's decision to send a new set of military advisers this year to work with Afghan forces closer to the front lines.

Three attackers, wearing military uniforms, detonated explosives while the others were shot by government troops, officials said.

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