US announces a pause in peace talks with Taliban after airbase attack

WION Web Team New Delhi Dec 13, 2019, 08.49 AM(IST)

File photo of US Special Representative for Peace in Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad with Taliban leaders. Photograph:( Reuters )

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A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle outside a hospital building near Bagram military base in Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul, according to local officials.

The United States on Thursday announced a pause in talks with the Taliban after an attack near a US airbase in Afghanistan, reported news agency AFP. 

"When I met the Talibs today, I expressed outrage about yesterday’s attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians," US special representative for Afghanistan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter. 

"#Taliban must show they are willing & able to respond to Afghan desire for peace," he tweeted. 

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A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle outside a hospital building near Bagram military base in Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul, according to local officials.

Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack. 

The assault came despite the resumption of talks between the US and the insurgent group just days before in Qatar, as the parties look for a path to reduce violence or even reach a cease-fire, allowing a gradual withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. 

Negotiations began earlier this year, though US President Donald Trump unexpectedly suspended talks in September just as the parties were about to reach an agreement, citing a fatal attack in Kabul, in which an American soldier was killed. 

He announced last month they would start up again, insisting on the need for a cease-fire. 

(With inputs from AFP)