Pakistan joins US-led call for Afghan ceasefire, talks

Pakistan joins US-led call for Afghan ceasefire, talks

The Afghan interior ministry said security forces were locked in an intense exchange of fire with the assailants, killing two of them and trying to neutralize the rest.

"We agreed we will expand and ask more global partners to join w/ the start of negotiations", USA peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who attended the talks, said on Twitter on July 12.

"The attackers took over a building near the governor's office and police headquarters", Badghis Governor Abdul Ghafoor Malikzai told the AFP news agency.

The NATO-led Resolute Support said it would not release the name of the soldier or give further details until 24 hours after giving notification of the death to the soldier's family.

Mujahed said two USA service personnel were killed when Taliban militants attacked a tank in Sayed Abad district of central Wardak province, barely 40 miles south of the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Rahimi said there were totally three attackers.

PHOTO: In this photo taken on June 6, 2019, US soldiers look out over hillsides during a visit of the commander of USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller at the Afghan National Army (ANA) checkpoint in Nerkh district of Wardak province.

After almost 18 years, it is America's longest war, in which over 2,400 American service members have died.

Officials said two of the gunmen were killed and one suspect had yet to be apprehended.

Separately, Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate claimed Friday's suicide attack that killed 6 people.

Saturday's announcement brings the total number of US troop deaths in Afghanistan this year to 11, according to iCasualties, a website that tracks casualties of USA forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two incidents on Saturday came less than a week after Taliban officials sat face-to-face with Afghan leaders as well as United States negotiators in Qatar in a bid to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Taliban claimed responsibility of the attack and said their attackers are fighting the security forces.

Talks between Khalilzad and the Taliban have focused on US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troop withdrawal and guarantees from the Taliban that Afghanistan would not again become a safe haven for terrorists to plan a global attack like 9/11.

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