Afghan Forces Hit With Wave of Assaults on Eve of Taliban Talks

KABUL, Afghanistan — Greater than 40 folks had been killed throughout Afghanistan on Tuesday on the eve of talks between Afghan politicians and Taliban leaders in Moscow, because the militant group pursued a well-known tactic of intensifying its assaults earlier than high-profile conferences.

13 Afghan troopers had been killed by Taliban fighters in Khost Province, and 23 folks, together with Afghan particular operations forces, cops, civilians and militia members, died in western Ghor Province. In northern Samangan, Taliban fighters practically overran an Afghan army outpost, killing a minimum of six Afghan police and troopers, in accordance with Afghan officers.

However on Monday, Afghan troopers wrested management of the Deh Yak district in southeastern Ghazni Province from Taliban fighters after a concerted offensive. The group had managed the city for 2 years.

The spurt of violence got here as Afghan politicians, together with one of many candidates vying to switch President Ashraf Ghani in elections in September, and members of the Taliban arrived in Moscow to have fun 100 years of diplomatic relations with Russia. The ceremony serves as an excuse for casual peace talks between Afghan politicians and 14 Taliban negotiators.

In a gap ceremony, International Minister Sergey V. Lavrov of Russia known as for the “complete pullout” of international forces from Afghanistan, a jab at america and NATO international locations that deploy troops there.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy chief, stated his group was “dedicated for peace” and wished to “finish the occupation” of Afghanistan.

In February, 50 delegates from each the Taliban and Afghan politicians met at Moscow’s President Resort. The Afghan delegation, led by former President Hamid Karzai, spoke of preserving the present Afghan authorities following any withdrawal of international forces. The Taliban criticized the Afghan Structure that was put in place after the American-led invasion in 2001.

Absent from the discussions in February had been any representatives from Mr. Ghani’s authorities. However this week’s talks will embody the Afghan ambassador to Russia, Latif Bahand, who will signify Kabul in any “intra-Afghan” talks, in accordance with Sibghatullah Ahmadi, the spokesman for the Ministry of International Affairs.

Final month, what was meant to be the primary assembly between the Afghan authorities and Taliban negotiators was derailed after the militant group objected to the big variety of Afghan officers attending.

A United States delegation, led by Zalmay Khalilzad, the Individuals’ peace envoy, has had a number of conferences with the Taliban in Qatar. Every time the Taliban have rejected requests that they discuss to the Afghan authorities.

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