Afghan Taliban officials said on Saturday the killing of the brother of their leader in a bomb attack would not derail talks with the United States aimed at securing the withdrawal of US troops after 18 years of war.
There was no claim of responsibility for the bomb that killed the younger brother of Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada near the Pakistani city of Quetta on Friday.
It came after both Taliban and US officials have reported progress in talks on an agreement centred on a US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban security guarantee.
“If someone thinks martyring our leaders would stop us from our goal they’re living in a fool’s paradise,” a Taliban leader said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
“We are close to our goals,” he said, referring to the talks with the United States. He declined to be identified.
The militants have been fighting to expel foreign forces and set up an Islamic state since they were ousted in October 2001, weeks after the Sepember 11 attacks on the United States.
Both US negotiators and the Taliban have reported progress after eight rounds of talks since late last year but the violence has not eased.
The bomb at the mosque near Quetta killed four people, and wounded 20, Pakistani police said.
The Taliban leader’s brother, Hafiz Ahmadullah, was leading prayers when it exploded. One of the leader’s sons was wounded, Taliban officials said.
Pakistani police confirmed that one of the dead was identified as Hafiz Ahmadullah but said they could not confirm if he was a brother of the Taliban leader. Pakistan denies accusations that it supports the Taliban but many members live there.
In the Afghan capital, Kabul, a suicide bomber attacked a Saturday night wedding reception. An interior ministry spokesman said there were tens of casualties, both wounded and dead.
There was no claim of responsibility.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر