Taliban Attack Shakes Kabul, Killing Five As Peace Deal Reached ‘In Principle'

The Taliban took credit for killing at least five civilians in a car bombing in Kabul on September 2 as the Afghan-based militant group agreed “in principle” to a deal to end the 18-year conflict, the longest war in which the United States has been embroiled.

Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi said the explosion occurred in a large compound of the Afghan capital where foreign organizations and aid agencies are based.

Around 50 other people were wounded in the blast.

The attack came as U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad was in Kabul to discuss with Afghan officials the draft peace deal.

U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad (Left) and Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad (Left) and Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, Khalilzad said the Taliban has agreed "in principle" that any Afghan territory it controls in the future will not be used as a sanctuary for terrorists to launch attacks against the United States and its allies.

He also said that U.S. and Taliban negotiators had also agreed on the gradual "reduction and withdrawal" of Western forces from Afghanistan.

"That would depend on the situation on the ground," the envoy said.

However, he pointed out that the agreement, reached after nine rounds of U.S.-Taliban negotiations in Qatar, wasn't final until U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to it.

Khalilzad said he "will have more talks" with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other high-ranking government officials to discuss the draft agreement.

Presidential spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi told reporters in Kabul the government will need to "study and assess" details of the draft deal.

Khalilzad arrived in the Afghan capital on September 1 from Qatar, after declaring that the U.S. and Taliban negotiators were "at the threshold" of a deal following the ninth round of talks.

The envoy said Washington hopes that a final U.S.-Taliban agreement would pave the way for “inter-Afghan dialogue, which is an historic and golden chance to end the 40-year-old war in Afghanistan.”

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