At Least 8 Killed By Rocket Attacks In Afghan Capital

Rockets hit various parts of Kabul on 21 November | Twitter @TOLOnews

The meeting came hours after a barrage of rockets hit parts of Kabul in the early hours of Saturday, killing 23 and injuring over 50.

The Islamic State reportedly claimed responsibility for an attack in Afghanistan's capital city. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media, did not elaborate.

The Iranian embassy said on Twitter that its main building had been hit by rocket fragments after one landed on the premises. In addition to the dead, at least 31 people were injured in the attack.

A series of loud explosions have shaken central Kabul, including several rockets that landed near the heavily fortified Green Zone where many embassies and worldwide firms are based, officials said.

Neither leader addressed this week's announcement that the U.S. planned to withdraw large numbers of troops from Afghanistan.

"We are close to an announcement and initiation of formal talks", senior Taliban leader said.

According to a report by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), around 6,500 Pakistan terrorists are operating in Afghanistan majority belonging to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

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Trump has repeatedly vowed to end "forever wars", including in Afghanistan, America's longest-ever conflict that began with an invasion to dislodge the Taliban, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and has led to many war crimes and civilian deaths committed by United States forces across the years. The Pentagon now says some 2,500 troops will leave by January, just days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, leaving another 2,000 or so US forces in place.

The move would represent a big step toward fulfilling a Trump campaign promise, but it has also raised concerns among USA military leaders and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Several members of the Afghan government's negotiating team recently returned to Kabul for final consultations, after which President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, who is heading the peace process for Kabul, are expected to announce a breakthrough, the official said. The Taliban have refused, saying a cease-fire will be part of negotiations. President-elect Joe Biden has called for a small, intelligence-based force in Afghanistan that would focus on counter-terrorism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured that Pakistan would fully support to end violence and establish durable peace in Afghanistan. He did not identify "the spoilers".

Hours before the attack rattled Kabul, a bomb attached to a vehicle killed one security worker and wounded three others in an eastern neighborhood of the capital, said Kabul police spokesperson Ferdaws Faramarz.

Tirumurti said the recent targeted attacks on Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), universities, women occupying positions of responsibility and youth only serve to highlight the concerted effort by terrorists and their sponsors to erode the gains of the last two decades.

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