April 24, 2018

Afghan official says auto bomber kills 2 in Kabul

19 March 2018, 12:20 | Simon Arnold

Kristina Wong Breitbart News

Pakistan Border

Pakistan fully acknowledges that peaceful Afghanistan means peaceful Pakistan.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday presented the organization's annual report in Brussels and said the National Unity Government's (NUG) peace offer is the clearest invitation to the Taliban and that they should make use of the opportunity. He said the attack took place as the convoy passed by the auto bomber. While the latest blast was not on the scale of others that have killed scores of people recently, the constant stream of attacks in Kabul has undermined confidence in the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.

"Six months after the announcement of the South Asia Policy by President Donald Trump, Pakistan has failed to take the kind of decisive actions that the U.S. is seeking", a senior administration official told reporters. The extra security in Kabul has turned the city centre into a fortified zone of high concrete blast walls, barbed wire and police checkpoints and security forces say they have intercepted numerous attacks before they take place.

The goal was to establish an inner-ring of security along with an outer-ring of security, and clear everything in between. "More such attacks will be carried out", the statement said.

Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, has told The Associated Press that the insurgents were not involved in this "criminal act".

"My son telephoned me at night and said that he is in a secure area inside the city". "So this is a process of deliberately clearing sections of the city".

However, Khan's cousin, Khair Mohammad, said the cleric was a member of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan — the Pakistani Taliban.

Trump approved a more aggressive strategy a year ago that included more United States combat advisers and air strikes, and fighting is expected to pick up in the coming weeks.

There is an opportunity - now - to end the conflict.

Nicholson echoed that, noting there was more outreach than publicly known - including through "backchannel" intermediaries. Taliban leadership are operating from Pashtunabad, Gulistan and surrounding areas, the source said.

Reconciliation between Kabul and the Afghan Taliban is a major tenet of Trump's strategy to end the war, which began in October 2001.

Stoltenberg said Taliban can not win on the battlefields and that accepting the NUG peace offer is the best option to end the Afghan war.

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