Taliban attack northern Afghan city as peace talks continue

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Taliban fighters attacked the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday, setting off hours of gunbattles that raged even as U.S. negotiators were ...

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan: Taliban fighters attacked the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Saturday , setting off hours of gunbattles that raged even as US negotiators were trying to seal an accord with the insurgents aimed at ending the war.

The fighting came as US and Taliban officials in Doha appeared to getting closer to an agreement that would see the withdrawal of thousands of US troops in exchange for security guarantees that militant groups such as al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base for attacks on the United States and its allies.

At least three civilians were killed in the battles and 41 wounded were taken to hospitals, said Ehsanullah Fazli, head of the public health department in Kunduz city but a final casualty total was not available. A US-Taliban accord would not in itself end the fighting in Afghanistan, but it would open the way for talks between the Taliban and the government in Kabul for a wider peace agreement.

 

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