United Nations envoy: US, Taliban closest to peace in 18 years

United Nations envoy: US, Taliban closest to peace in 18 years

United Nations envoy: US, Taliban closest to peace in 18 years

Wednesday marked the 18th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

He subsequently described the talks as dead and said USA forces would step up operations against the Taliban, who control more territory than at any time since they were ousted from power by a US -led campaign in 2001.

Clashes between the hardline insurgent group and Afghan forces intensified in northern Samangan province on Saturday where the Taliban's shadow provincial governor, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an air strike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district, local officials said. The U.S. attacked Afghanistan after 9/11 because the Afghan Taliban had provided sanctuary to al-Qaida and its leader, Osama bin Laden.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed. However, the Taliban didn't comment on his death. On Friday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also claimed that over 1000 Taliban fighters have been killed in one week.

"He (Nooruddin) is alive", said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement. The talks collapsed last week after US President Donald Trump pulled the plug in a surprise move days before the planned signing of a formal agreement.

The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russian Federation to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said. "If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it".

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Despite this, Seddiqi said the new government will prioritize the negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump heads back to the Oval Office after attending an event establishing the U.S. Space Command, the sixth national armed service at the White House in Washington, on August 29, 2019. Last week the Taliban killed four Afghan special force members in a vehicle bomb blast.

"We have already met with Russian Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov to discuss the recent events regarding the Afghan peace process", Taliban spokesman Mohammad Suhail Shaheen told reporters.

Also in southern Kandahar province, in an insider attack, two policemen turned on their colleagues and shot dead at least nine police officers at a checkpoint, according to a provincial official who spoke on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to talk to media.

It was the Taliban's first global visit following the collapse of talks with Washington.

Shaheen told the Taliban's official website on Tuesday that the group was still communicating with US negotiators, at least to find out what to do next.

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