Afghan forces, Taliban clash ahead of peace talks

Seven Afghan soldiers and 60 Taliban militants killed in last 24 hours as two sides prepare for peace talks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

As deadly attacks by Taliban intensify in Afghanistan's capital, security forces and militants are battling battle across the country, ahead of much anticipated peace talks.

The Afghan army killed 60 suspected militants in 12 provinces over the last 24 hours, wounding 46 others. Seven soldiers also died during the operations, which were conducted in coordination with the army and Afghan intelligence agency, the Afghan Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, many suspects were detained and large amount of ammunition was seized.

The announcement came just after a bomb attack on the Afghan Justice Ministry as workers were leaving the building, killing at least five people, the latest in a series of attacks on government institutions.

The clashes also coincide with much anticipated peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban leadership, after representatives of President Ashraf Ghani held an unofficial meeting with the group's delegation in Qatar's capital Doha.

Afghan officials claim the latest surge in violence is a strategy by Taliban to show their strength ahead of peace talks.

Taliban representatives, members of Taliban’s Qatar bureau, visited the Iranian capital on Monday to discuss regional developments, local media reported.

The May talks in Doha ended with no agreement except to hold another meeting in the United Arab Emirates "probably next month." Representatives from several countries - including the United States, China and Pakistan - also attended the talks.

TRTWorld and agencies