Karzai: Taliban in talks with US

KABUL – The US is engaged in talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said, in the first high-level confirmation of US involvement. Mr Karzai said that “foreign military and especially the US itself” were involved in peace talks with the group, the BBC informs. Earlier this month, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said there could be political talks with the Taliban by the end of this year. Hours after Mr Karzai’s announcement, suicide bombers attacked a Kabul police station, killing nine.

Speaking to the BBC, Richard Barrett, the man in charge of the UN’s Taliban and al-Qaeda Monitoring station, was asked what the latest attacks said about how well organised the Taliban were.

A senior U.S. source said there were contacts but nothing serious or substantial enough to be considered negotiations. U.S. statements are typically restrained, the source said, plus, “This is Karzai being Karzai.” The source could not be named because of the sensitivity of the subject, CNN reports.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack Sunday that targeted a NATO convoy in northern Afghanistan’s Kunduz province, killing at least three people and wounding 11, a spokesman for the provincial governor’s office said.

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