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Civilian casualties by Taliban, Afghan forces rising

Civilian casualties by Taliban, Afghan forces rising”

Mr Abdullah served as the chief executive in the previous government led by Mr Ghani.

In other words, the Afghan government's internal agreement is the result of mediation and multilateral negotiations by Afghan politicians with both presidential candidates.

It was only on Sunday that a power sharing arrangement could be finalised between President Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah which allows Ghani to stay on as President sharing an equal number of ministries with Abdullah Abdullah who will lead peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdullah and Ghani also contested the 2014 presidential election, with both claiming victory.

According to Siraj, the Taliban group has carried out at least 3,700 attacks following the signing of the peace deal with the United States.

In April, the Taliban killed 208 civilians.

Ghani's order came on the same day as dozens died, including mothers and their newborns, in an attack on a maternity ward in Kabul.

"Seven killed and 25 wounded people were admitted to the provincial hospital in provincial capital Ghazni city after a terrorist attack Monday morning", Baz Mohammad Hemat, head of provincial public health department, told Xinhua.

"In the days ahead, we hope that with unity and cooperation, we would be able to first pave the ground for a ceasefire and then lasting peace".

Intense disagreements have characterised the relationships between all stakeholders. Negotiations that were to take place in March never happened.

The incident occurred just hours after a suicide blast killed at least 24 people and wounded scores more at a funeral in Nangarhar, located in the east of the country.

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At least seven intelligence personnel were killed by a vehicle bomb in the eastern province of Ghazni, Wahidullah Jumazada, spokesman for the province´s governor said.

The hashtag #killedmotherswithbabies and #Kabulhospitalattack went viral nearly instantly. It became known as the "end of humanity in Afghanistan".

Since then, the US has been trying to get the Taliban and the Afghan government to begin intra-Afghan negotiations, but the political turmoil and personal acrimony between Ghani and Abdullah impeded talks.

As for the prisoner exchange under the U.S. -Taliban deal signed in February, Kabul has so far released about 1,000 Taliban prisoners, while the militants claim to have freed 263 government captives. Global partners have a responsibility to hold the Taliban and their sponsors accountable.

The Taliban attribute these attacks as a response to a decree from President Ashraf Ghani, who ordered Afghan forces to go on the offensive against the Taliban after deadly attacks on civilians in Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Ghani and Abdullah "that the priority for the United States remains a political settlement to end the conflict", his spokeswoman said in a statement.

"And the other thing is that India and Pakistan are having historical enmity and Pakistan is playing a proxy role in Afghanistan and the Taliban are being accused of playing Pakistan's proxy role in Afghanistan and are backed by Pakistan, I believe these assertions of the Taliban are on Pakistan's demand", he said.

Too much optimism may be premature.

Eventually, after months of mediation by Afghanistan's political leaders, in particular Hamid Karzai, Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf, and Yunus Qanuni, the two candidates agreed to sign a political agreement.

There are two key factors that need special attention.



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