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Afghanistan 2,307 dead 1,948 injured in month of killing

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Afghanistan 2,307 dead 1,948 injured in month of killing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:28 pm

Bomb rips through wedding in Kabul

An explosion has ripped through a wedding hall in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and many casualties are feared

Eye witnesses told the BBC a suicide bomber detonated explosives during a wedding ceremony. Witnesses said they had seen bodies.

The explosion happened at around 22:40 local time (18.10 GMT) in an area mostly populated by Shia residents.

No group said it carried out the attack, which happened in the west of the city.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150.

The Taliban said it carried out that attack.

Tensions in the country have been high even though the Taliban and the United States, which has thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan, are reportedly close to announcing a peace deal.

Are you in the area? Did you witness the incident? If it is safe to do so email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49383803
Last edited by Anthea on Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Afghanistan 2,307 dead 1,948 injured in month of killing

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Re: Bomb rips through wedding in Kabul

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Dozens feared dead or wounded
after Afghan wedding hall blast


Explosion in packed Kabul venue comes as Donald Trump talks up prospects of peace deal with Taliban

An explosion ripped through a wedding hall on a busy Saturday night in Afghanistan’s capital, leaving dozens of people dead or wounded, a government official has said. Hundreds of people were believed to be inside.

Interior ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi told the Associated Press there was no immediate information on the cause of the blast. Both the Taliban and a local affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group have carried out attacks in the capital.

The blast at the Dubai City wedding hall in western Kabul, a part of the city that many in the minority Shia Hazara community call home, shattered a period of relative calm in the city.

On 7 August, a Taliban car bomb aimed at Afghan security forces detonated on the same road in a busy west Kabul neighbourhood, killing 14 people and wounding 145 – most of them women, children and other civilians.

Kabul’s huge, brightly lit wedding halls are centres of community life in a city weary of decades of war, with thousands of dollars spent on a single evening.

“Devastated by the news of a suicide attack inside a wedding hall in Kabul. A heinous crime against our people; how is it possible to train a human and ask him to go and blow himself (up) inside a wedding?!!” Sediq Seddiqi, spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, said on Twitter.

Wedding halls also serve as meeting places, and in November at least 55 people were killed when a suicide bomber set off explosives at a Kabul wedding hall where hundreds of Muslim religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.

The latest attack came a few days after the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, as Kabul residents were visiting family and friends, and just before Afghanistan marks its 100th independence day on Monday.

The blast comes at an uncertain time in Afghanistan as the United States and the Taliban near a deal to end a nearly 18-year war.

The Afghan government has been sidelined from those discussions, and presidential spokesman Seddiqi said earlier on Saturday that his government was waiting to hear the outcome of President Donald Trump’s meeting on Friday with his national security team about the negotiations.

Top issues include the withdrawl of US troops and Taliban guarantees not to let Afghanistan become a launching pad for global terror attacks.

While the Taliban earlier this year pledged to do more to protect civilians, it continues to stage deadly attacks against Afghan security forces and others in what is seen by many as an attempt to strengthen its position at the negotiating table.

Last year more than 3,800 civilians, including more than 900 children, were killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban, US and allied forces, the ISIS affiliate and other actors, the United Nations said.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... hall-blast
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Re: Dozens feared dead or wounded after Afghan wedding hall

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:08 am

Bomb kills 63 at wedding in Kabul

A bomb has exploded in a wedding hall in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing 63 people and wounding more than 180

Witnesses told the BBC a suicide bomber detonated explosives during a wedding ceremony.

The explosion happened at around 22:40 local time (18.10 GMT) in an area in the west of the city mostly populated by Shia Muslims.

The Taliban denied it was behind the attack. No other group has admitted carrying out the bombing.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150.

The Taliban said it carried out that attack.

On Friday a brother of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada was killed by a bomb planted in a mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta.

No group has so far claimed that attack.

A source in Afghan intelligence told the BBC that Hibatullah Akhundzada had been due to attend prayers at the mosque and was probably the intended target.

Tensions in the country have been high even though the Taliban and the US, which has thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan, are reportedly getting closer to announcing a peace deal.

Worried relatives gathered outside a hospital in Kabul
What do we know happened?

The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the death toll hours after the bombing. Pictures on social media showed bodies strewn across the wedding hall.

Afghan weddings often include hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

Wedding guest Mohammad Farhag said he had been in the women's section when he heard a huge explosion in the men's area.

"Everyone ran outside shouting and crying," he said.

"For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men's section is either dead or wounded. Now, two hours after the blast, they are still taking bodies out of the hall."

A Taliban spokesman said the group "strongly condemned" the attack.

"There is no justification for such deliberate and brutal killings and targeting of women and children," Zabiullah Mujaheed said in a text message to the media.
How are peace talks progressing?

Taliban and US representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar's capital, Doha, and both sides have reported progress.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that both sides were "looking to make a deal - if possible".

The deal would include a phased US troop pullout in exchange for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used by extremist groups to attack US targets.

The Taliban would also begin negotiations with an Afghan delegation on a framework for peace including an eventual ceasefire. The militants have been refusing to negotiate with the Afghan government until a timetable for the US withdrawal is agreed upon.

The Taliban now control more territory than at any point since they were forced from power in 2001.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49383803
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Re: Afghan wedding bomb 63 people dead more than 180 wounded

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:30 am

Bomb kills 63 at wedding in Kabul

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack

Burials are taking place in the Afghan capital, Kabul after a bomb exploded at a wedding hall killing 63 people and wounding more than 180.

The blast happened on Saturday during a wedding ceremony at around 22:40 local time (18.10 GMT).

President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the attack, describing it as "barbaric". He blamed the Taliban for "providing a platform to terrorists."

The Taliban has denied involvement and condemned the attack.

What happened?

An ISIS statement said that one of its fighters blew himself up at a "large gathering" while others detonated a parked explosives-laden vehicle when emergency services arrived.

The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the death toll hours later. Pictures on social media showed bodies strewn across the wedding hall amid overturned chairs and tables.

Afghan weddings often include hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.

The groom who gave his name as Mirwais told local TV: "My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting.

"I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again."

"I can't go to the funerals, I feel very weak ... I know that this won't be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue," he said.

The bride's father told local media that 14 members of his family were killed in the attack.

Wedding guest Mohammad Farhag said he had been in the women's section when he heard a huge explosion in the men's area.

"Everyone ran outside shouting and crying," he told AFP news agency.

"For about 20 minutes the hall was full of smoke. Almost everyone in the men's section is either dead or wounded."

A waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, said "everybody was running" after the blast.

"Several of our waiters were killed or wounded," he added.

The floor of the wedding hall was covered in blood after the explosion

Writing on Twitter, president Ashraf Ghani said he had called a security meeting to "review and prevent such security lapses."

The explosion took place in the west of the city, mostly populated by Shia Muslims.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A Taliban spokesman said the group "strongly condemned" the attack.

"There is no justification for such deliberate and brutal killings and targeting of women and children," Zabiullah Mujaheed said in a text message to the media.

What's the background?

The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150.

The Taliban said they carried out that attack.

On Friday a brother of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada was killed by a bomb planted in a mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta.

No group has so far claimed that attack.

A source in Afghan intelligence told the BBC that Hibatullah Akhundzada had been due to attend prayers at the mosque and was probably the intended target.

Tensions in the country have been high even though the Taliban and the US, which has thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan, are reportedly getting closer to announcing a peace deal.

Worried relatives gathered outside a hospital in Kabul on Saturday

How are Afghan peace talks progressing?

Taliban and US representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar's capital, Doha, and both sides have reported progress.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that both sides were "looking to make a deal - if possible".

The deal would include a phased US troop pullout in exchange for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used by extremist groups to attack US targets.

The Taliban would also begin negotiations with an Afghan delegation on a framework for peace including an eventual ceasefire. The militants have been refusing to negotiate with the Afghan government until a timetable for the US withdrawal is agreed upon.

The Taliban now control more territory than at any point since they were forced from power in 2001.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49383803
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Re: Afghan wedding bomb 63 people dead more than 180 wounded

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:57 am

Afghan groom has 'lost hope' after wedding blast

Mirwais Elmi told Tolo News he would never see happiness in my life again

The bridegroom whose wedding was targeted by a suicide bomber in the Afghan capital Kabul says he has "lost hope" after the deadly attack.

In a TV interview, Mirwais Elmi said his bride survived but his brother and other relatives were among the 63 people killed in Saturday's attack.

The Islamic State group has admitted carrying out the bombing, which also wounded more than 180.

President Ashraf Ghani described the attack as "barbaric".

He blamed the Taliban for "providing a platform to terrorists". The Taliban, who are engaged in peace talks with the US, condemned the attack.

In the interview with Tolo News, Mirwais Elmi recalled greeting smiling guests in the packed wedding hall only to see their bodies carried out hours later.

"My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting," he said.

"I've lost hope. I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.

"I can't go to the funerals, I feel very weak ... I know that this won't be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue," he added.

The bride's father told Afghan media that 14 members of his family had died in the attack.

What happened?

An ISIS statement said that one of its fighters blew himself up at a "large gathering" while others "detonated a parked explosives-laden vehicle" when emergency services arrived.

Bombing a wedding is not a political or religious act

It is shocking that anyone would target a wedding celebration full of innocent women and children

Bombing the aid workers is a horror only ISIS would think of doing

This has shown us that as ISIS starts becoming strong again, we are ALL targets


The attack took place in a district populated mainly by Shia Muslims.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Speaking from a hospital bed, wedding guest Munir Ahmad, 23, said his cousin was among the dead.

"The wedding guests were dancing and celebrating when the blast happened,"

"Following the explosion, there was total chaos. Everyone was screaming and crying for their loved ones."

Afghan weddings often take place in large halls where men are segregated from the women and children.

What reaction has there been?

Writing on Twitter, President Ghani said he had called a security meeting to "review and prevent such security lapses."

Afghanistan's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, described it as a "crime against humanity" and the US ambassador to Afghanistan, John Bass, called it an act of "extreme depravity".

A Taliban spokesman said the group "strongly condemned" the attack.

"There is no justification for such deliberate and brutal killings and targeting of women and children," Zabiullah Mujaheed said in a text message to the media.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49390900
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Re: Afghan wedding bomb 63 people dead more than 180 wounded

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:43 am

Death toll in Afghanistan
wedding blast rises to 80


The death toll stood at 63 on Sunday, a day after the blast, which jumped to 80 by Wednesday. Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said 17 civilians died from their wounds in recent days

He added that 30 people were in critical condition after the attack.

"Seventeen others have succumbed to their injuries in hospital and over 160 are still being treated either in hospitals or at home," Rahimi said.

The blast was so powerful that it blew much of the roof off the huge wedding hall, where hundreds of guests had gathered.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack

It was Kabul's deadliest attack since January 2018 when the Taliban packed an ambulance with explosives and detonated it in a crowded street - killing 103 people, according to an official toll.

Many Afghanistan independence day celebrations that were scheduled to take place on August 19 were suspended in the aftermath of the horrific attack.

Security failure

So far, security officials have yet to provide any explanation as to why the wedding was targeted.

Mansoor, a 28-year-old Afghan who had 12 relatives attending the wedding, said he was told by some survivors that the attacker arrived on a bicycle.

He said he believed the target of the attack was not the wedding party.

"If you pay attention, there is a police headquarters on this road. There are at least two checkpoints he would have passed. Everyone said he appeared to be heading further along the road, but somehow he turned back," he said.

Though Afghan wedding events have been targeted in the past, the attacks have mostly taken place in remote areas and usually attended by high-profile officials or strongmen targeted by rival forces or armed groups such as the Taliban or ISIL.

US forces have also been accused of attacking several wedding parties across the country during their military air campaigns.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack, vowing to "take revenge for every civilian drop of blood".

"Our struggle will continue against [ISIL], we will take revenge and will root them out," he said on Monday.

He urged the international community to join those efforts.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/ ... 34770.html
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Afghanistan war: Tracking the killings in August 2019

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:11 pm

A month of killing in Afghanistan
Tracking killings in August 2019


BBC research shows civilians continue to suffer disproportionately

Average of 74 men, women and children were killed every day in Afghanistan throughout the month of August

The findings show unrelenting violence affects almost the entire country as US negotiations to withdraw after 18 years of war are in disarray.

611 security incidents in which 2,307 people died

Most people killed were combatants - including more Taliban fighters than expected

    20% killed were civilians

    1,948 people were injured.
The casualty toll is just a snapshot of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. However, it paints a bleak image as US President Donald Trump looks to fulfil a key foreign policy aim and withdraw American troops.

Just more than a week ago, President Trump cancelled year-long peace negotiations between the Taliban and United States, although a return to talks is not ruled out.

A ceasefire, however, was never on the table, and hundreds of Afghans are still dying each week. There are fears that violence will worsen ahead of presidential elections due at the end of the month.

To learn how the BBC collected its data in August, scroll to the end

Thirty-one days of killing

Following a violent first week in August, both Taliban and government forces observed an unofficial ceasefire during the three days of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Nonetheless, the BBC confirmed 90 people died in violence during the holiday period, from the evening of 10 August to sunset on 13 August.

The highest number of casualties occurred on 27 August, with 162 confirmed dead and 47 injured, primarily Taliban fighters in air strikes.

But the deadliest day for civilians was 18 August, when 112 people lost their lives. Most died in a single incident when a suicide bomber killed 92 people and injured 142 at a wedding in Kabul.

The groom Mirwais, a tailor from a working-class district, had struggled to save for the event that should have been the happiest day of his life.

Instead, several of his closest friends were killed. His new bride lost several cousins and a brother. Mirwais says that she now wants to burn her wedding dress and photo album.

He told the BBC, "all my hopes and all my joy was destroyed in one second".

The Islamic State group said it carried out the attack.

92 people were killed and 142 injured when IS bombed a wedding in Kabul :((

Who is most affected?

The Taliban have never been more powerful since 2001, but their fighters account for nearly half of all deaths confirmed by the BBC for August - a huge number, which comes as a surprise.

There may be a number of factors for this, including the fact the Taliban have been on the offensive during peace talks, and US-led forces have increased air strikes and night raids in response, killing many Taliban as well as civilians.

How many fighters the Taliban has lost in recent years is not known. It's thought they may have about 60,000 men under arms.

In a statement the Taliban said it strongly rejected "the baseless allegations" of the killing of 1,000 fighters in the past month, adding that there was no document that could prove "casualties to that scale".

It described the BBC's report as "based on the daily propaganda of interior and defence ministries of Kabul administration".

Afghan security force casualties are top secret - so our own confirmed counts for August may still be lower than reality. In January Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said 45,000 members of the security forces had been killed since late 2014.

The Afghan Ministry of Defence said the research needed "a serious review and a more serious research based on ground realities must be conducted".
Graphic showing number of people killed by affiliation. One in five are civilians.
Presentational white space

The BBC confirmed that 473 civilians had been killed and 786 injured in August.

"The conflict has a devastating impact on civilians," says Fiona Frazer, human rights chief for the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

"United Nations data strongly indicates that more civilians are killed or injured in Afghanistan due to armed conflict than anywhere else on Earth.

"Although the number of recorded civilian casualties are disturbingly high, due to rigorous methods of verification, the published figures almost certainly do not reflect the true scale of harm."

The US and Afghan militaries routinely deny or fail to report civilian casualty figures.

What does the conflict look like?

Large events, like the battle for the northern city of Kunduz or the Kabul wedding bombing, are the ones that make international headlines.

Yet most of Afghanistan's deadly conflict is persistent, small-scale violence, typically between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.

In only three of Afghanistan's 34 provinces was the BBC unable to confirm fatalities in August.

One in 10 deaths occurred in the province of Ghazni, a restive area and a centre of Taliban control, and therefore a key target of Afghan military operations.

One-third of the 66 attacks in Ghazni were airstrikes on suspected Taliban locations.

Afghan civilians describe living in an environment of extreme uncertainty.

Mohibullah from Uruzgan province spoke to the BBC in Kandahar's main hospital after doctors extracted a bullet from his brother's shoulder.

"Whenever there's an operation in our area, ordinary people can't move anywhere, if they do, American or Afghan forces shoot them," he said angrily.

"They drop bombs wherever they want, all the houses around us have been destroyed."

The deadliest conflict in the world?

The war in Afghanistan has gone on for four decades, and has been at a stalemate for a number of years.

Late last year, the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) pronounced Afghanistan the most lethal conflict in the world for battle-related deaths.

Most fighting in Afghanistan is close-range conflict between government forces and Taliban

Their casualty data for 2019 shows Afghanistan maintaining that position. Fatalities in August in Afghanistan are three times higher than either Syria or Yemen, according to ACLED data.

And in June 2019, Afghanistan was named the least peaceful place in the world by the Global Peace Index report.

How the BBC gathered its data

The BBC collected more than 1,200 reports of violent incidents in Afghanistan between 1-31 August 2019.

BBC Afghan journalists traced every reported incident, from those that often wouldn't make it to news headlines to major attacks. To verify reports and chase up tip-offs, the BBC used its extensive on-the-ground team to contact multiple sources across Afghanistan including government officials, health workers, tribal elders, local residents, eye witnesses, hospital records and Taliban sources. A minimum of two reliable sources was required to confirm an event. Confirmed casualties from hospital reports were considered reliable even without secondary sourcing.

Only the lowest-confirmed casualty counts were recorded. If a range of casualties was given (eg 10-12), the minimum figure was considered the most reliable. If multiple sources provided conflicting figures for an incident, the minimum reliable number was included and the rest dropped. As a result, hundreds of reports were excluded and the true number of attacks and casualties could be much higher.

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49662640
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Re: Afghanistan 2,307 dead 1,948 injured in month of killing

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:29 pm

Dozens killed in
two Taliban blasts


Two separate suicide attacks in Afghanistan have killed at least 48 people and injured dozens others

In Parwan province, north of the capital Kabul, an election rally where President Ashraf Ghani was due to speak was attacked, and 26 people died.

Another blast, near the US embassy in central Kabul, killed 22 people.

The Taliban said they were behind both attacks. The group has continued a concerted bombing campaign while at the same time taking part in peace talks.

But US President Donald Trump described the negotiations with the Taliban as "dead" earlier this month.

The Taliban refuse to talk to the Afghan government and have vowed to disrupt the presidential election in the country on 28 September.

In a statement, they said: "We already warned people not to attend election rallies, if they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility."

What is known about the explosions?

Forty-two people are reported to have been injured in the election rally blast in Charikar, the capital of Parwan province, at 11:40 local time (07:10 GMT).

Children were among the casualties, medical staff said. The bomber, on a motorbike, triggered the blast at a checkpoint at the venue.

Another suicide bomber targeted Kabul's busy Massood Square, the site of government ministries and Nato compounds, at 13:00 local time.

An additional 38 people were injured there, according to the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

On Twitter, the president called the perpetrator "a cowardly enemy".

What is the security situation in Afghanistan?

An average of 74 people were killed every day in the country in August, according to data collected by the BBC.

Most of the casualties were those involved in combat, such as Taliban fighters, but a fifth were civilians, including children.

The BBC was given exclusive access to spend a week with ambulance workers in Afghanistan

The worst day for civilians was 18 August, when 112 were killed, including 92 at a wedding in Kabul.

The Taliban are estimated to be openly active across 70% of Afghanistan.

In June 2019, the country was named the least peaceful place in the world by the Global Peace Index report.

Both Taliban and Nato-backed Afghan forces are on the offensive now.

One Afghan government source said they were fighting harder than ever before as they pushed to recapture territory long held or recently taken by the Taliban.

More fighting means more civilian casualties

Taliban negotiators in the Qatari capital Doha told us they had established an office to investigate such incidents.

On the government side, an office was set up six months ago by the national security adviser, Dr Hamdullah Mohib, who told us every incident was being investigated.

But as one village elder in Herat lamented: "We're coming under attack from both sides. What should we do?"

What happened to the peace talks?

President Trump called off peace negotiations with the Taliban on 7 September after the militant group launched an attack that killed an American soldier.

Talks on ending the 18-year conflict had been under way for weeks in the Gulf state Qatar, and were, by some accounts, coming close to fruition.

The US has had troops in Afghanistan since 2001, when it overthrew the Taliban government.

Since then, the Taliban have refused to speak directly with the Afghan government, calling it an American puppet.

At the weekend, a spokesman for President Ghani ruled out making any deal before the election.

Why are the elections contentious?

The elections have been twice delayed, and if the peace deal had been struck, they were unlikely to go ahead this month.

The Taliban fear they will allow the current government to cement its power. They have attacked campaign rallies and polling sites in previous years.

The group's spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said such locations were "military targets" because they were protected by security forces.

Link to Article - Photos:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-49726088
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