Taliban blast kills US soldier, several civilians in Kabul
By Tameem Akhgar and Cara Anna
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban car bomb exploded and killed U.S. and Romanian service members and 10 civilians in a busy diplomatic area near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Thursday, the second major attack this week as the Afghan government warned that a U.S.-Taliban deal on ending America’s longest war was moving at dangerous speed.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, under pressure after announcing earlier in the week that “on principle” he and the Taliban had reached an agreement, returned abruptly to Qatar, site of the talks, later Thursday, officials close to the negotiations said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
The NATO Resolute Support mission, whose offices were near the blast, said the two service members were “killed in action,” without providing details or releasing their names. The American service member was the fourth killed in the past two weeks in Afghanistan.
“Peace with a group that is still killing innocent people is meaningless,” President Ashraf Ghani, whose government has been shut out of the U.S.-Taliban talks, said in a statement.