Long-awaited “inter-Afghan” peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed government in Kabul began this weekend, but continued violence across Afghanistan threatened to overshadow the historic gathering.
Afghan government representatives said that in the hours immediately before and after the peace negotiations formally began in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday, the Taliban launched a series of attacks against Afghan security forces and planted more than a dozen IEDs across the countryside.
“The Taliban have not decreased their violence and offensive attacks” in Afghanistan, Fawad Aman, spokesman for the country’s Ministry of Defense, said in a Twitter post.
Mr. Aman told Reuters that the government hoped the Taliban would reduce the number of attacks once peace talks began, but instead the group has continued ramping up violence. Taliban officials also confirmed some of the attacks, with a spokesman for the group saying on Twitter that insurgent fighters clashed with an “enemy convoy” near the city of Kunduz.
At least 12 people