| Afghan attack kills 4 US soldiers hours after news of talks!


Afghan attack kills US soldiers hours after news of talks ~ BBC.

Four US soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, hours after the US announced direct talks with the Taliban.

The soldiers were killed by “indirect fire” from insurgents at Bagram air base, US officials said.

Bagram, near the Afghan capital Kabul, is the largest military base for US troops in Afghanistan.

A condition for the talks, due to take place in the coming days in Qatar, was for the Taliban to renounce violence.

In comments made before the news of the attack emerged, US President Barack Obama said the announcement of talks was an “important first step toward reconciliation”.

The first meeting is due to take place in the coming days in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban have just opened their first official overseas office.

US officials said prisoner exchanges would be one topic for discussion with the Taliban, but the first weeks would mainly be used to explore each other’s agendas.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government was also sending delegates to Qatar to talk to the Taliban.

Also on Tuesday, Nato handed over responsibility for security for the whole of the country to Afghan security forces.

International troops are to remain in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, providing military back-up when needed.

Trust ‘low’As well as renouncing violence, other conditions of the talks are that the Taliban break ties with al-Qaeda and respect the Afghan constitution – including the rights of women and minorities.

US officials told reporters the first formal meeting between US and Taliban representatives was expected to take place in Doha next week, with talks between President Karzai’s High Peace Council and the Taliban due a few days after that.

The level of trust between the Afghan government and the Taliban is described as “low”.

In the past, the Taliban have always refused to meet President Karzai or his government, dismissing them as puppets of Washington.

Masoom Stanekzai, secretary of the High Peace Council, would not give a specific date for their talks but said they would take place “within days”.

US officials stressed that this was the first step on a very long road, adding that there was no guarantee of success.

Afghan liesA

One thought on “| Afghan attack kills 4 US soldiers hours after news of talks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s