The seventh round of the US and Taliban talks are ongoing in Doha, Qatar, amid an increase of violence by the insurgent group as they launched two complex attacks in Kabul and Kandahar in the past two days.
They launched an attack on Maroof district’s center in the southern province of Kandahar by using four explosive-laden Humvees on Sunday while they jolted the city of Kabul by a heavy truck bombing on Monday morning which left at least four people dead and more than 100 others wounded. The group immediately claimed responsibility of the attack.
Five attackers were involved in the attack which ended after eight hours, targeting the Defense Ministry’s logistics center in Kabul. Almost 50 of the wounded were schoolchildren.
Today’s brazen attack takes place at a time that the US-Taliban talks entered their third day in the Gulf state of Qatar where the two sides are struggling to reach to some type of deal on a number of key issues under debate, including the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, counterterrorism assurances, a ceasefire, and intra-Afghan talks.
Despite the spike in violence, there are hopes about the start of intra-Afghan talks within the next two weeks as the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi said on Sunday.
“The Afghan government is ready for unconditional talks with the Taliban given that achievements of Afghanistan are protected,” said MoFA spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi.
But, a Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said in a tweet on Monday that the group will engage in intra-Afghan talks once an agreement is sealed with the US on troop withdrawal.
President Ghani in a statement said that the attack shows that the Taliban is willing to continue violence and war.
“Today’s attack shows that the Taliban still have no respect for peace,” Ghani’s spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told reporters on Monday.
“A number of govt representatives should join the politicians within the framework of a delegation and express their demands there [in an intra Afghan talks in Qatar],” said Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, head of New National Front of Afghanistan.
Last month, Germany’s Special Envoy Markus Potzel said his country is willing to facilitate intra-Afghan talks after holding discussions with senior Afghan officials, including President Ghani and prominent Afghan politicians.