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Taliban say ‘committed’ to talks despite aggressive offensive

AT News

KABUL: The Taliban militants say they want to continue peace negotiations, accusing Kabul of declaring war.

Mohammad Naeem, Taliban’s political spokesman in Qatar said Wednesday that the militant group does not want the peace process to be stopped.

“The government of Afghanistan violated its promises and commitments over not attacking our forces during the Eid festivity,” Naeem said, referring to the second Muslim fest in July.

He accused President Ghani’s administration of declaring war, saying the militant group still adheres to negotiations and does not want it stop.

“We call on the international community to evaluate the reality honestly.”

A session over Afghan peace was held this week in Qatar with the representatives from the European Union, the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and China attending.

Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghan reconciliation council who represented Kabul in the session, called on the international community to pressure Taliban abandon violence and join the peace talks.

Taliban have so far seized more than 200 of over 400 districts in the country and began attacks on provincial capitals on Friday. They have since taken control of the centers of nine out of 34 Afghan provinces.

In a major gain, the insurgents seized the army’s Pamir corps located outside the Kunduz city, capital of the eponymous province in the north. Kunduz is a major province and is considered as one of commercial hubs as it is home to the Sher Khan border point with Tajikistan.

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