12 killed & dozens wounded in vehicle bomb attack in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with from left Resolute Support NATO Base Commander Gen. Austin Scott Miller Afghanistan Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan John Bass Pompeo Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Afghan Chief Executiv

12 killed & dozens wounded in vehicle bomb attack in Afghanistan

His remarks came as the US and the Taliban are in Doha, Qatar for talks on peace Afghanistan.

In a visit to the Afghan capital late last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said September 1 was the target date for a peace deal to end America's longest running military engagement.

Afgani said many young female Afghans were pinning their hopes on her and other women delegates to continue talks with the Taliban on women's rights in the country.

"The Taliban should know that they can not gain leverage by the killing of civilians", Ghani said in a statement.

Taliban representatives were holding two days of talks with members of the Afghan government, civil society, political opposition and several women in hope of bringing peace after 18 years of war.

The US peace envoy to Afghanistan says he can for the first time report "substantive" progress on all four issues key to a peace agreement in the country's 17-year war.

"We can expect progress if we define progress as movement toward a troop withdrawal deal", Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told DW. "We have not faced any obstacles yet".

Khalilzad made the remarks in an interview with RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan on July 7 at the conclusion of the first day of an intra-Afghan dialogue in Qatar. The Taliban are meeting with U.S. negotiators and Afghan representatives inDoha as the United States pushes to end its 18-year involvement in Afghanistan, but violence from the insurgents and the USA military has continued apace.

Before the begging of peace talks, Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman of the Taliban told media that all participants of the dialogue would share their views on how peace could be achieved in Afghanistan but the Taliban's stance would be expressed in the Intra-Afghan summit by the Taliban representative Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai. He added there must be a series of dialogues and discussions before entering negotiations and the Intra-Afghan dialogue had come within the framework of reaching an agreement on the terms of peace among the Afghan factions.

A spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Sediq Siddiqi, said in an email that "it is beyond understanding that a group like the Taliban, while their leaders are sitting in Qatar talking about peace, commits this horrific and deplorable crime that took many innocent lives".

The July 7-8 intra-Afghan dialogue, organized by Qatar and Germany, is seen as an icebreaker that could lead to direct negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders.

"Gathered around the table today are some of the brightest minds representing a cross-section of Afghan society", said Markus Potzel, Germany's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said Washington's "aspiration" is to have that framework in place by September 1 and ahead of the Afghan presidential election.

Just last week, the Taliban carried out an attack near the United States and UK embassies in Kabul, wounding more than 50 people. Despite the violence, both the Taliban and United States have been positive about their engagement.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in a Tweet Sunday condemned the attacks.

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