Taliban say 'doors are open' for US talks, as more bloody attacks shake Afghanistan

Taliban say 'doors are open' for US talks, as more bloody attacks shake Afghanistan
The Taliban have stepped up attacks after the breakdown of talks with the US.
2 min read
18 September, 2019
The Taliban have stepped up attacks in Afghanistan [Getty]

The Taliban have said the "doors are open" to more talks with the US, despite a continued surge in violence in Afghanistan.

The Afghan movement's chief negotiator, Sher Mohammed Abbas Stanikzai, defended continued Taliban attacks in the country saying that the US have also boasted about killing its fighters.

"From our side, our doors are open for negotiations," he told the BBC.

US President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban, citing an attack that killed an American soldier earlier this month, declaring negotiations as "dead".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Taliban must show a "significant commitment" if talks were to resume, but Taliban attacks have continued.

An attack on Tuesday saw 26 people dead at a rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in the central province of Parwan. An hour later and a blast in the capital Kabul saw 22 killed.

Another bombing in Jalalabad resulted in injuries, agencies reported with more attacks coming days as Afghans prepare for a presidential election on 28 September, which the Taliban have promised to disrupt.

"We already warned people not to attend election rallies. If they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement released after Tuesday's blasts.

The insurgents have said previously that the only other option is to continue fighting.

"We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations," Mujahid told AFP earlier this month.

"If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it."