US President Donald Trump says peace talks with Taliban leaders are off and he was still thinking about a troop drawdown from Afghanistan.
Zalmay Khalilzad, who is leading efforts to forge a deal with the Taliban, made the announcement after meeting Afghanistan's President Ghani who asked the US envoy to share the draft agreement between the US and Taliban with all Afghan leaders.
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.
An agreement would allow President Donald Trump to achieve his aim of ending Washington's longest-running war, launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.
A deal between the two sides could pave the way for direct talks between the government of President Ashraf Ghanio despite the fact that the militants consider his administration illegitimate.
The start of Afghanistan's election season was marred by deadly violence, just hours after President Ashraf Ghani insisted "peace is coming" to the war-torn nation.
Afghanistan government "preparing for direct talks" with the Taliban "in a European country," state minister for peace affairs Abdul Salam Rahimi says.
Taliban officials meet a group of Afghan delegates in Doha as part of diplomatic efforts to end years of violence and build trust between Afghan civilians and the insurgent group.
US and Taliban officials will reconvene on Tuesday to continue peace talks described as the "most productive session" by the top US negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad leading the discussions to end the Afghan war.
In an interview on Fox News broadcast, the US president said the problem with pulling the 9,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the site of America's longest war, is that the country is a "lab for terrorists."
At least 105 people, including 51 children, wounded in Taliban-claimed car bomb attack outside a Defense Ministry building.
Taliban is "really committed to peace, but think the obstacle for peace should be removed first," Taliban co-founder and political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar says in a rare televised appearance at the start of the two-day meeting in Moscow.
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