United Nations condemns attack on Afghan political party’s office in Kabul

30 Juillet, 2019, 01:46 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • United Nations condemns attack on Afghan political party’s office in Kabul

Ghani, Saleh and over a dozen other Afghan politicians launched their presidential campaign on Sunday.

Two civilians were killed and at least 25 more were injured in the blast on a road near the private Ghalib University, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said. Saleh was wounded by shrapnel before being evacuated from the office. Two gunmen could still be trapped in the top floor of the four-storey building, exchanging fire with security (left: one member of the Afghan security force is pictured loading his machine gun at the site of the attack), according to vice-presidential candidate and former intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh. Security officials have said the insurgent group is now distancing itself from attacks killing ordinary Afghans.

"To clarify, those negotiations will occur after we [the United States] conclude our own agreements and they will take place between the Taliban and an inclusive and effective national negotiating team consisting of senior government officials, key political party representatives, civil society and women", Khalilzad tweeted.

USA envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is now visiting Kabul, has held several rounds of talks with the Taliban in recent months in a bid to end America's longest war. The two sides are aiming for an agreement in which American forces would withdraw in exchange for guarantees that Afghanistan will not be a launchpad for global terror attacks. Within hours, Mr. Khalilzad responded that the USA and the Taliban will have to reach an agreement before Kabul's government holds direct discussion with the rebels. "The attack killed 20 people and wounded 50 more", the statement said.

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The start of Afghanistan's election season was marred by deadly violence Sunday, just hours after President Ashraf Ghani insisted "peace is coming" to the war-torn nation.

Although Ghani did not name Pakistan, he has been highly critical of the Pakistani establishment continuing role in destabilising Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran Afghan-American diplomat who is leading the USA side in peace negotiations with the Taliban, condemned the latest attack. Their talks are set to overshadowing campaigning for September's presidential elections.

The attack underscored the risks facing the presidential election, which is scheduled for Sept 28 but which has already been delayed twice this year. The attack there reflects the woeful security situation throughout the country and how hard it is likely to be to maintain security during the election season.

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