Calls for ceasefire, women’s rights top priority as Afghan peace talks begin

Afghan government representatives and Taliban insurgents gathered on Saturday for historic peace talks aimed at ending two decades of war that has killed tens of thousands of combatants and civilians. Ahead of face-to-face negotiations in coming days, the warring sides were urged by various countries and groups to reach an immediate ceasefire and forge an… Read More Calls for ceasefire, women’s rights top priority as Afghan peace talks begin

Afghanistan releases almost 200 Taliban prisoners in bid to foster peace talks

Afghanistan has freed nearly 200 Taliban prisoners to spur long-delayed peace talks, as a team of negotiators readies to fly this week to Qatar’s capital, Afghan officials said on Wednesday. The prisoners formed part of a group of 400 jailed “hardcore” Islamist separatists whose stalled release had appeared set to delay talks between the government… Read More Afghanistan releases almost 200 Taliban prisoners in bid to foster peace talks

Unknown gunmen attack Afghan women’s right advocate Fawzia Koofi

A prominent women’s rights advocate and member of the Afghan team tasked with negotiating with the Taliban sustained minor injuries in an attack in Kabul by unknown gunmen, officials said on Saturday. They described the attack on Fawzia Koofi, a former lawmaker, as an assassination attempt. It was condemned by Afghanistan’s president as well as… Read More Unknown gunmen attack Afghan women’s right advocate Fawzia Koofi

Afghan government begins release of Taliban prisoners

The Afghan government has begun releasing the last Taliban prisoners from a final batch of 400 who the militants want freed before they agree to start peace negotiations, a security agency spokesman said on Friday. The government agreed on Sunday to release the 400 “hard-core” prisoners after consulting a grand assembly of elders and other… Read More Afghan government begins release of Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signs decree to free Taliban prisoners

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Monday signed a decree to release a final batch of “hardcore” Taliban prisoners demanded by the militants, sources said, paving the way for long-awaited peace talks to begin in Qatar. “It is signed,” a presidential palace source said. Afghanistan’s grand assembly, or Loya Jirga, on Sunday approved the release, under… Read More Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signs decree to free Taliban prisoners

Afghanistan agrees to release 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners in peace bid

The Afghan government agreed on Sunday to release 400 “hard-core” Taliban prisoners, paving the way for peace talks aimed at ending almost two decades of war. The insurgent group welcomed the move and said it was ready to begin talks within 10 days of the release. Under election-year pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump for… Read More Afghanistan agrees to release 400 ‘hardcore’ Taliban prisoners in peace bid

U.S. intelligence accuses Russia of offering bounties to Afghan militants to kill American troops

U.S. intelligence has concluded that the Russian military offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to kill American troops and other coalition forces, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing officials briefed on the matter. A Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination attempts in Europe had offered rewards for successful attacks last year,… Read More U.S. intelligence accuses Russia of offering bounties to Afghan militants to kill American troops

Afghan Taliban declare three-day ceasefire for Eid al-Fitr festivities

The Taliban declared a three-day Eid ceasefire starting on Sunday, a spokesman for the hard-line Islamist group wrote in a tweet on Saturday, a move that comes as fighting has intensified between the warring sides despite the coronavirus pandemic. “Do not carry out any offensive operations against the enemy anywhere, if any action is taken… Read More Afghan Taliban declare three-day ceasefire for Eid al-Fitr festivities