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U.S., Taliban near Afghanistan deal, as fighting intensifies in the north

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 1, 2019 - Duration: 01:31s

U.S., Taliban near Afghanistan deal, as fighting intensifies in the north

Taliban fighters attacked Pul-e Khumri, in the northern province of Baghlan on Sunday (September 1) just a day after a major show of strength by hundreds of fighters who overran parts of Kunduz, a strategic city the insurgents have twice come close to taking in recent years.

Emer McCarthy reports.

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U.S., Taliban near Afghanistan deal, as fighting intensifies in the north

U.S. and Taliban negotiators are close to a deal that would open the way for peace in Afghanistan, a top U.S. official said on Sunday - even as Taliban fighters carried out their second attack on a northern city in as many days.

Taliban fighters attacked Pul-e Khumri, in the northern province of Baghlan on Sunday (September 1), the day after a major show of strength by hundreds of fighters who overran parts of Kunduz, an important strategic city.

The interior ministry said on Sunday that 20 Afghan security force members and five civilians were killed in Kunduz.

The latest fighting underlines the Taliban's apparent intention of going into any peace deal from a position of battlefield strength.

Talks are close to wrapping up in Doha, and a U.S. official said on Sunday that the United States and Taliban negotiators are close to an agreement.

A deal is expected to see thousands of U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan, in exchange for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used as a base for militant attacks abroad.

The agreement would not on its own end the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces, but would allow the start of so-called "intra-Afghan" peace talks, which are expected to be held in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

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