(KABUL, Afghanistan.) #PeaceTalks Latest: Ghani urged the #Taliban on Sunday to end violence and talk directly to his government after Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he had cancelled a planned meeting with the insurgent group over a draft peace accord blaming it on killing of another American soldier and 11-other people after attack on military base last week #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Sept.08: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani urged the #Taliban on Sunday to end violence and talk directly to his government after U.S. President Donald Trump announced he had canceled a planned meeting with the insurgent group over a draft peace accord:“Real peace will come when Taliban agree to a ceasefire,” Ghani’s officials said in a statement in response to Trump’s cancellation of the secret peace talks.

Trump unexpectedly announced on Saturday that he had canceled peace talks with the Taliban’s “major leaders” at a presidential compound in Camp David, Maryland after the group claimed responsibility for an attack in Kabul last week that killed an American soldier and 11 other people: U.S. diplomats have been talking with Taliban representatives for months seeking to agree to a plan to withdraw thousands of American troops in exchange for security guarantees by the Taliban.

A source close to the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan said the group will hold a meeting to discuss all aspects of ongoing negotiations before issuing a statement: “Trump’s tweets do not clarify if the deal has been cancelled, he has just called-off the talks at this stage,” the source said.

The Taliban have rejected calls for a ceasefire and stepped up assaults in recent weeks: As negotiators reached a draft accord last week, Taliban fighters, who now control more territory than at any time since the war started in 2001, were launching assaults on the northern cities of Kunduz and Pul-e Khumri. They claimed responsibility for two major suicide bombings in the capital Kabul.

Trump’s surprise announcement left in doubt the future of a draft peace accord worked out last week by Zalmay Khalilzad, the special U.S. envoy for peace in Afghanistan: Under the accord some 5,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn over the coming months in exchange for guarantees Afghanistan would not be used as a base for militant attacks on the United States and its allies.

A full peace agreement to end more than 18 years of war would depend on “intra Afghan” talks involving officials and civil society leaders as well as further agreement on issues including the remainder of the roughly 14,000-strong U.S. forces as well as thousands of other NATO troops: However the Taliban have so far refused to talk to the Afghan government, which they consider an illegitimate “puppet” regime.

Nine former U.S. ambassadors last week had warned that Afghanistan could collapse in a “total civil war” if Trump withdraws all U.S. forces before the Kabul government and the Taliban conclude a peace settlement: A spokesman for Ghani said Trump’s decision to cancel talks at a time when the Taliban continue to mount attacks proved the concerns expressed by the Afghan government about the deal were acknowledged: “The peace talks provided an opportunity to the Taliban to embrace political life,” Sediq Sediqqi told reporters in Kabul: “We (the Afghan government) expected an outcome leading to a ceasefire and holding direct talks with the Taliban but we did not see any real effort from their (Taliban) end,” he said.

Trump said on Saturday that he had also planned to meet with Afghanistan’s president, who has been sidelined from the talks, but Sediqqi did not confirm a meeting was planned: Ghani’s office said in a statement it was committed to working together with the United States and allies for a “dignified and long-lasting peace”, and emphasized the holding of the presidential election this month: Ghani is seeking a second tenure in elections scheduled for Sept. 28, but the Taliban want the elections to be canceled as a precondition to signing a peace accord with the Americans: The statement said a lasting peace required “a strong, legitimate and a legal government through the upcoming elections to take the ongoing peace process forward.”……The Taliban’s strategy of fresh assaults appears to be based on the assumption that battlefield success would strengthen their hand in future negotiations with U.S and Afghan officials: Some of their field commanders have also said they are determined not to surrender gains when they are close to victory, suggesting the leadership is under internal pressure not to concede a ceasefire.

The warring sides have held nine rounds of peace talks in Qatar’s capital city Doha aimed at ending America’s longest war, which began with a U.S. invasion triggered by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, that al Qaeda launched from then Taliban-ruled Afghanistan: Almost 4,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of 2019 in the war against militant groups, including a big increase in the number of casualties caused by government and foreign forces, the United Nations said in July.

Western diplomats and senior Afghan security experts said the resurrection of talks depends on the Taliban’s stance following Trump’s decision: “I don’t see any particular alternative than negotiations… Nobody wants to go for a bad deal that could pave the way for a civil war,” said Tamim Asey, a former chief of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.

#AceNewsDesk reports ………….Published: Sept.08: 2019: Reuters: Writing by Rupam Jain, James Mackenzie in Kabul, Editing by Michael Perry and Ros Russell

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(KABUL, Afghanistan.) JUST IN: #Taliban suicide bombers in four Humvee’s killed at least 19-people in an attack on a government office on Saturday night, officials said, in the latest episode of violence as ‘ Peace Talks ‘ continue to end the war but many do not want peace with bombings increasing across the country daily #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.30: Election workers were registering voters ahead of presidential elections in September at an office in the Maroof district of the southern Kandahar province when fighters of the hardline Islamist group launched an attack using four Humvee vehicles, officials said: Eight election workers were killed, they said: Eleven Afghan security force members were also killed alongside the four suicide bombers, said Tadeen Khan, the police chief of Kandahar.

The #Taliban, which rejects the election process, claimed responsibility for the attack: Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said the group’s fighters also killed 57 members of the Afghan security forces in the attack and captured 11 others, but Afghan officials disputed the account.

The interior ministry in a statement said 25 Taliban insurgents were killed in the clash: The Taliban, which controls or contests half the country, more than at any time since being overthrown by the U.S. invasion in 2001, has rejected calls for a ceasefire.

Fighting between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified even as leaders of the Taliban and U.S. officials hold peace talks in Qatar to end 18 years of war in Afghanistan: In a separate attack, Taliban fighters killed eight Afghan soldiers and injured eight others at a military checkpoint in Balabulak district in the western province of Farah, a local official said: Mahmood Naemi, the deputy chief of the Farah council, said the clashes ended after Afghan forces launched air strikes: “Many Taliban fighters were killed in the air strike,” said Naemi: In the northern province of Takhar, over 600 villagers fled as Taliban fighters seized large areas of the province during heavy fighting in recent days, government officials said.

The pace of talks between the United States and Taliban in Doha has sped up as Afghanistan heads for presidential elections on September 28: Qatar’s government, which is mediating the peace process between the United States and the Taliban, on Sunday said the two sides discussed the withdrawal of foreign troops, preventing militants from using Afghanistan to harm the United States or other countries and a comprehensive ceasefire: “They (U.S. and Taliban) also stressed the mutual desire of both sides to move quickly and make tangible progress,” the ministry said.

About 20,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan as part of a U.S.-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces. Some U.S. forces carry out counter-terrorism operations: The Taliban wants a complete withdrawal of foreign forces before they hold talks with the Afghan government or declare a ceasefire.

Reporting by Sarwar Amani in Kandahar, Storay Karimi, Jalil Ahmad Rezayee in Herat, Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Deepa Babington

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(QATAR, UAE.) JUST IN: Afghanistan’s Taliban opened a new round of peace talks Monday with U.S. the insurgent group said: A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the two-day meeting in Doha will continue on Tuesday: The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan political reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, is leading the U.S. delegation #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – Jan.22: Following American acceptance of the agenda of ending the invasion of Afghanistan and preventing Afghanistan from being used against other countries in the future, talks with American representatives took place today in Doha, the capital of Qatar: The session will also continue tomorrow (Tuesday), Mujahid said: The meeting was originally set to take place in Pakistan where Khalilzad had stayed for several days before traveling to Qatar: Sources said #Taliban officials refused to come to Islamabad unless the U.S. side agreed to discuss a withdrawal plan for U.S.-led foreign troops from Afghanistan: The uncertainty had led to speculation about a breakdown in the peace dialogue.Afghanistan’s Taliban opened a new round of peace talks Monday in Qatar with the United States, the insurgent group said #AceNewsDesk reports

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) receives U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan. 18, 2019.

In this photo released by the Foreign Office, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (L) receives U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan. 18, 2019.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, who undertook a day-long visit to Islamabad on Sunday, dismissed suggestions the dialogue with the Taliban was faltering and also praised Pakistan’s effort to help the Afghan peace process: The South Carolina Republican senator, who is considered close to President Donald Trump, spoke after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

I can tell you the fact that the effort that was made is good: It is going to take a while. I talked with Prime Minister Khan and I think he is going to deliver a message that would be very helpful,” Graham said. He did not elaborate.

Monday’s U.S.-Taliban talks came as Prime Minister Khan also arrived in Doha for official meetings with the Qatari leadership: Diplomatic sources say Khan is likely to make contact with Taliban officials during the visit to encourage them to help in negotiating a political resolution to the Afghan war.

After ending his visit to Pakistan on Sunday, Ambassador Khalilzad sounded upbeat about the future of Afghan peace talks, saying he had “good meetings” in Islamabad: “I appreciate their [Pakistan’s] hospitality and resolve to push for Afghan peace. We’re heading in the right direction with more steps by Pakistan coming that will lead to concrete results,” the Afghan-born chief U.S. negotiator said.

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham gives a press conference at the U.S. Embassy after meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2019.

U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham gives a press conference at the U.S. Embassy after meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Jan. 20, 2019.

Senator Graham, in his press conference Sunday, noted Pakistan was taking significant steps under Khan’s leadership to promote Afghan peace and regional security: He also praised Pakistan’s effort to fence the 2,600-kilometer largely porous border the country shares with Afghanistan to deter cross-border terrorism.

“I am going to go back and talk to President Trump about my meeting with Prime Minister Khan and I am going to urge him to meet with the prime minister as soon as practical,” said Graham: “ Prime Minister Khan was criticized over the past 10 or 20 years about talking about reconciliation with the Taliban. He was right.”

Before coming to power last July, Khan had consistently called for the U.S. to engage the Taliban in peace talks rather than using military power to end the Afghan war: His critics would call him “Taliban Khan” for demanding and supporting reconciliation with the Islamist Afghan Taliban.

Source: VOA.Org/ Published: January.21: 2019:

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(LONDON) Court Report: Khalid Ali Who plotted a knife attack on ‘ MPs and Police ‘ in Westminster and was arrested in Parliament Square carrying three knifes has received three life sentences: He boasted to police who were watching him for 5-years since he returned from Afghanistan that he had made bombs for the #Taliban and detonated 300-IEDs against troops #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – July.21: A man who plotted a knife attack on MPs and police in Westminster has been handed three life sentences: Khalid Ali, 28, was arrested in Parliament Square last April by armed police who found him in possession of three knives: Police had been watching Ali since he returned from Afghanistan where he had spent five years making bombs for the Taliban which were used to maim and kill coalition troops…………..In late 2016, the FBI matched his fingerprints to those of two caches of explosives recovered in 2012 #AceNewsDesk reports

Khalid Ali faces life in jail
Khalid Ali was being watched by police since returning from Afghanistan

After being tried at the Old Bailey in June, Ali was convicted of preparing terrorist acts in Britain and two charges of possessing explosive substances with intent abroad………………….Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC sentenced Ali to a minimum of 40 years for making IEDs for the Taliban in 2012………….He was also handed a 25-year sentence for the Westminster plot designed to attract “maximum publicity and instil terror”

Firearms officiers from the British police detain a man, later named as Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, on Whitehall near the Houses of Parliament in central London on April 27, 2017 before being taken away by police. Metropolitan police attended an incident on Whitehall in central London near the Houses of Parliament where one man was arrested, police said. Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, a 27-year-old from north London, is accused of preparing terrorist acts after being arrested not far from Prime Ministe
Ali was arrested by officers as in Parliament Square

The judge said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that there is a very considerable risk of your committing offences of violence in the future and cause death or serious injury as a result.

I’m sure your plan was to attack and kill someone in central London.

“Your preparations were complete and you very simply had to identify your precise target and his or her death was very likely to be caused by a knife attack. You would kill any police officer you could.”…………………………..Ali’s family in Edmonton, north London, reported him missing in June 2011 after he disappeared without warning…………………….He resurfaced at the British Consulate in Turkey more than five years later, when he claimed he had lost his passport………………The #Taliban and al #Qaeda follower was stopped at Heathrow Airport in November and interviewed by police who took DNA samples and fingerprints.

He told police he had been involved in a Road to Hope convoy to Palestine in 2010.

Body-worn camera footage has shown the moment Khalid Ali was taken down by armed police near Parliament.1:13The moment police pinned terrorist to the floor

He said he then went to Pakistan after MI5 had tried to recruit him as a spy.

In late 2016, Ali’s DNA and fingerprints were shared with the FBI agents and the 42 prints linked him to two loads of IEDs found in Afghanistan in 2012…………………..In the meantime, he vowed to carry out an attack on Westminster to “send a message” to British authorities, the court heard…………………….On 18 March, he carried out reconnaissance while claiming to be taking part in a Stand Up To Racism march, which took him past Downing Street and the Cenotaph.

On 22 April, CCTV cameras caught him walking past the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross.

He was also captured by CCTV at Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall……………………………..Shortly after midnight on 27 April his mother called police and told them she had found four knives in his bedroom and feared he was going to kill his family………………………….Ali had bought the blades two days before in Ealing, west London, and had been seen by surveillance officers throwing away the packaging………………..He left his mother’s home and went to Ealing where he rearmed himself with an eight-inch chef’s knife and two three-and-a-half-inch paring blades from Wilko……………………He also bought kitchen utensils including a potato masher as cover and purchased a rucksack with a Union flag and London logo on it.

Ali then travelled on the Underground to carry out his attack, just four weeks after the Westminster Bridge killings: He deliberately dropped his mobile phone into the Thames, which police divers recovered……………………..As police moved in to arrest Ali, the knives were seized from his jacket pockets and the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms……………..Ali told officers in a police interview he wanted to deliver a “message” to British authorities but he said the knives were for protection………………….He admitted involvement in IEDs in Afghanistan and bragged that he had detonated more than 300 devices.

Source: Metro UK https://t.co/iGUoZjoYot – Published: July 20, 2018 at 11:32AM

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(KABUL, Afghanistan.) Latest: #Taliban attack in #Ghor province on Friday night and within hours it was overwhelmed and fell, according to provinces governor there were no reported casualties among militants or civilians: Also 16-security forces were killed in #Farah clash with other militants #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – May.12: Ghor officials said Saturday that heavy clashes are ongoing between local uprising forces and #Taliban insurgents in Shahrak district of Ghor province: According to local officials the clash started on Friday night at about 8pm in Oshan village when dozens of Taliban attacked the village #AceNewsDesk reports

Abdulhai Khatibi provincial governor’s spokesman said the village fell to the Taliban after several hours: According to Khatibi there are no reports of casualties among the uprising forces nor civilians but that one soldier has so far been killed in the clash.

The Taliban has not yet commented: Heavy #Clashes Ongoing In #Ghor Provincehttps://t.co/E9SXe6tiRQpic.twitter.com/6cx9DT5zMf— TOLOnews May 12, 2018: https://t.me/acebreakingnews/755604: 16 Security Forces Killed In #Farah Clash https://t.co/btCT57Dvkepic.twitter.com/1PvS6wb5eR— TOLOnews May 12, 2018: https://t.me/acebreakingnews/755573

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AFGHANISTAN: At least 5 people were #killed and 27 others were wounded in a series of #explosions in Jalalabad city targeting a top security official who was #killed in the attack – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – Nov.25: Five killed, 27 wounded in three back to back explosions in Jalalabad city // Khaama Press (KP) image

At least 5 people were #killed and 27 others were wounded in a series of #explosions in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province.

Provincial government officials said the incident took place today in the 2nd police district of the city targeting a top security official who was killed in the attack.

The officials further added that the target of the #explosion was the chief of the detention center of the provincial jail who was #killed along with his son in the attack.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said the second blast took place targeted the convoy of the security forces as they were on their way to the blast site.

Khogyani further added that the third blast took place in the same area where the first blast took place as the security forces had gathered and cordoned off the area.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the back to back explosions so far.

Nangarhar is among the relatively peaceful provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups including the #Taliban insurgents and loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are actively operating in a number of its remote districts.

http://bitly.com/2guHlKq

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AFGHANISTAN: NDS Report that two key #Taliban commanders have been arrested in Helmand province in separate military operations a statement confirmed – @AceNewsServices

#AceNewsReport – July.28: Two Key Taliban Commanders Arrested in Helmand Operation

arrested man

At least two Taliban commanders were arrested in separate military operations in southern Helmand province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement.

In addition, one insurgent was killed during the clash.

The operation was conducted in Garemsir district of the province by NDS forces and Sharafuddin and Sayed Wali, key Taliban commanders, were arrested, according to the statement.

Sharafuddin was involved in attacks on local police outposts in Helmand in which 30 police members were killed,” it said.

The forces also seized weapons during the operation, the statement added.

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