Peace Talks Don’t Interfere with Taliban Terror Attacks
At least 15 people were killed and more than 50 were wounded Saturday in a terrorist attack near the city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar. The blast, whose death toll is expected to rise as evacuation efforts continue, comes on the backdrop of ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban officials in Qatar, meant to finally put an end to years of war and suffering. No group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s car bombing, yet a government spokesman blamed it on the Taliban, claiming that since the commencement of peace talks more than two weeks ago, the extremist Muslim organization carried out 650 such attacks, killing 70 civilians and wounding 140. Afghanistan has seen an uptick in violence in recent months following a long period of relative quiet that led the United States to declare a massive troop withdrawal from the war-torn country. At the behest of Washington, the Kabul government agreed to enter discussions with the Taliban, which, prior to the 2001 American invasion, controlled most of Afghanistan. Yet representatives for both sides have so far failed to reach even minor understandings and talks appear to have stalled.