Taliban terrorists carried out brutal coordinated attacks in Kabul on Monday, including a car bombing and subsequent militant assault that left at least 40 people dead and injured more than 80 security forces and civilians, including dozens of children, amid negotiations between the U.S. and the narco-jihadi group to end America’s longest war.
The latest meeting between the United States and the Taliban marks the seventh round of talks primarily aimed at finalizing a draft agreement to pull out foreign forces in exchange for assurances that Afghanistan will no longer harbor jihadis like al-Qaeda and the militant group will continue fighting the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
U.S. negotiators are also supposed to push for intra-Afghan negotiations and a ceasefire.
On Monday, the New York Times (NYT) reported:
A complex Taliban attack including a car-bombing and militant assault killed at least 40 people in Kabul on Monday, badly damaging a private war museum, an adjoining television station, and a primary school, hurting dozens of children, officials said.
The attack, apparently aimed at a government facility, came as American and Taliban negotiators met for a third day in Qatar amid hopes for a deal on an American troop withdrawal. But the pace of violence in the 18-year Afghan war has only picked up, with each side increasing attacks. … Officials said that attackers were still holed up in a nearby ministry of defense building that they had run into after the bomb explosions.
Nasrat Rahimi, the spokesman for the interior ministry, told NYT that the terrorists first detonated a car bomb near museum and television complex and then proceeded to enter an Afghan ministry of defense building where they engaged security forces in battle.
Taliban jihadis reportedly targeted the Afghan ministry of defense, NYT learned from unnamed senior Kabul defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly that the Taliban killed six security force members and 34 civilians.
Echoing Rahimi, Afghanistan’s Khaama Press (KP) reports that a child is among the fatalities.
Taliban narco-jihadis also wounded 20 Afghan security troops and at least 63 civilians, the defense official said.
“Nooria Nazhat, the spokeswoman for the ministry of education, said that at least 51 students were wounded, including many young children. They were injured when part of their school building near the attack site collapsed from the detonation of a car bomb which began the Taliban attack,” the Times revealed.
“Today’s attack shows that the Taliban still have no respect for peace,” Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, told reporters on Monday, TOLO News noted.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has intensified peace-seeking efforts over the last year after making the political reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban the primary tenet of its strategy to end the nearly 18-year-old war.
The Taliban, which considers itself the only legitimate government of Afghanistan, still refuses to allow Kabul to participate in the talks.
Taliban jihadis, fighting to establish a sharia-compliant Islamic emirate, have dismissed the Afghan government as an American puppet and claim they will only talk to Kabul after the full withdrawal of foreign forces.
“Despite the spike in violence, there are hopes about the start of intra-Afghan talks within the next two weeks as the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Sibghatullah Ahmadi said on Sunday,” TOLO noted.
Touting “progress” in the negotiations the day before the terrorist group killed two American service members last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration hopes to have a peace deal with the narco-terrorists “before September 1.”
The Taliban has stepped up its attacks and continued to gain territory amid the peace negotiations. Trump administration officials have banned a watchdog agency — the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) — from providing any more updates on the area held by the Taliban and the Afghan government.