The Saudi-Iran feud risks spilling over into Afghanistan as both countries push for greater influence with competing groups in the war-torn country.
The conflict turns 18 Monday, meaning every single Afghan child now has known only war.
A crop of dedicated security chiefs hold the keys to Afghanistan's future, not the Taliban.
The Afghan government says a third of its more than seven thousand plus polling stations will remain closed over security concerns.
US President Donald Trump says peace talks with Taliban leaders are off and he was still thinking about a troop drawdown from Afghanistan.
The explosion came as a senior US diplomat was visiting Kabul to brief Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on a draft peace accord reached with the insurgents that could see thousands of US troops withdrawn from Afghanistan
The spokesman for the Baghlan province police chief Jawed Basharat says gun battles continue on the outskirts of its capital Puli Khumri, a day after insurgent forces stormed the strategic northern city of Kunduz.
As the Taliban nears a peace deal with the US, the increasing presence of Daesh in the country makes the Afghan militant group jittery.
The struggle for peace in Afghanistan is complicated by international powers, as well as conflicts between and within various Afghan factions.
Afghanistan's Independence Day celebrations have been ripped apart by a series of attacks as Afghans face a concerted push from Daesh in the country.
Expectations are high for a deal under which the United States would start withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan after nearly two decades of war that has ground into a stalemate.
Negotiators launch final efforts to sign a peace deal to bring an end the conflict that killed and injured at least 1,500 civilians only in July in Afghanistan.
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