Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US general

Taliban, Afghan officials in ceasefire talks: US general

Officials inside the ministry said the attackers could not breach key buildings as they are located far from the main entrance and there is a wide flat space inside the compound, helping Afghan forces to subdue the attack quickly.

Authorities said all 10 attackers and one police officer died. He could not say how many other casualties there were besides the assailants.

Danish said the "attackers were dressed in military uniforms" - apparently seeking to confuse Afghan security forces guarding the ministry.

In a statement, the United States command in Afghanistan said the strike resulted in "more than 50 casualties", among them the number two Taliban leader in Helmand, Abdul Manan, and several district governors and local leaders in Kandahar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah, Uruzgan and Helmand provinces.

The Taliban and the Afghan IS affiliate have both carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and the country's Shiite minority, that have killed hundreds of people in recent years.

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe said on Twitter that the nearby coalition base was locked down for about an hour after the attack.

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There was no breach of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation compound, said Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell, a spokesman for the coalition in Kabul. "We've seen this in other conflicts, such as Colombia, where the two sides were talking about peace at the same time that they were fighting each other on the battlefield".

On the same day, at least three Afghan police officers were killed after a group of suicide bombers launched an attack on a police station in the eastern province of Logar.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack a few hours later in a statement released by ISIS' media wing, Amaq Agency.

The Taliban dismissed the report as "propaganda" and said the attack had hit two civilian houses in Musa Qala, killing five civilians and wounding three. Among the wounded were two children, the media reported.

It is estimated that about 15 million people - half the population - are living in areas that are either controlled by the Taliban or where the Taliban are openly present and regularly mount attacks. Sources also said police have not handed over the armored vehicles, used by the attackers, to the NDS for investigation.

Police also said they had found a vehicle stuffed with explosives and guns at Kabul's global airport near the interior ministry on Wednesday.

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