Taliban kill Afghan election officials amid US peace talks
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Taliban kill Afghan election officials amid US peace talks

The resurgent group attacked the government office in the Maroof district of Kandahar early Sunday morning, provincial police chief General Tadeen Khan said. The employees of the Independent Election Commission were stationed at the office to register voters when they were attacked. Local media reports said four explosive-laden Humvees were used in the bombing attack claimed by the Taliban group. The Taliban also claimed that in addition to the eight election employees, a number of Afghan national defense and security forces personnel had been killed and captured in the attack. On Saturday, Taliban militants killed eight Afghan soldiers and injured eight others at a military checkpoint in Balabulak district in the western province of Farah. At least 26 pro-government militiamen were killed in a separate attack by the militants in the northern Baghlan province. Violence has escalated as leaders of the Taliban hold peace talks with US officials in Doha. The new round of talks is expected to focus on working out a timeline for the pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan and on a Taliban guarantee that its elements would not attack US forces. The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan under the pretext of the global war on terror some 18 years ago. Some 18 years on, the Taliban have only boosted their presence across the country, and Washington is seeking truce with the militants.

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