Published: Sat, December 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Nine Afghan forces killed in Taliban insider attack

Nine Afghan forces killed in Taliban insider attack

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has held several days of meetings with Taliban representatives in Qatar since December 7.

The United States announced Thursday a pause in talks with the Taliban after an attack near a USA airbase in Afghanistan.

Talking to media persons in Multan on Friday, he said Intra-Afghan dialogue is imperative for creating enabling environment for successful of Afghan Peace Process.

For this objective, Khalilzad was in Islamabad where he held separate talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, had arrived here in Pakistan earlier today from Qatar's capital, Doha, and was escorted from Islamabad International Airport (IIAP) under special security arrangements.

"Regional security situation with particular reference to ongoing Afg recon process was discussed", the spokesperson added. He also lauded Pakistan's role in the Afghan peace process.

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In December 2018, Pakistan arranged rare direct talks between Washington and the Taliban, paving the way for a negotiated settlement of the conflict.

Earlier in the day, Khalilzad, in a series of tweets, stressed the Taliban "must show they are willing & able to respond to Afghan desire for peace".

We're taking a brief pause for them to consult their leadership on this essential topic, said Khalilzad.

Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said Friday's meeting was "very good and friendly".

Hours after the attack, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault.

The Taliban have killed nine Afghan soldiers in an insider attack in central Afghanistan, the military said on Saturday, underscoring the dangers Afghan forces face from within their own ranks.

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