Afghan forces claim to have killed over 50 militants

Nine policemen killed in Afghanistan bombing

Afghan forces claim to have killed over 50 militants

An Afghan official says a roadside bomb killed at least nine security forces during an ongoing operation in the northern Balkh province.

Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban since the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formally concluded their combat mission more than two years ago.

Trump has not appointed an ambassador to Kabul and has barely spoken about the longest conflict in US history, although commanders have said they want to add to the 8,400 American troops still stationed here.

"We hope and desire that when any such peace initiative will enter into a next stage, America will have to be made part of it", Fatemi said when asked whether the Russian-initiated process could bring peace to Afghanistan without Washington.

Kabul and Washington, increasingly wary of the deepening ties between Russian Federation and the Taliban, say Moscow's alliance with the militant group could complicate an already precarious security situation in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Tuesday said Kabul is committed to sending a "clear message" to the Taliban during the upcoming conference on Afghanistan in Moscow. The soldier was a member of USA special operations forces helping Afghan forces battle IS militants in the Achin district, the statement said. Russian Federation has also said it's particularly anxious about the presence of the Islamic State group, which the Taliban opposes.

The growing frustrations among the Afghan officials follow amid reports that Moscow is providing support to the Taliban group. Washington has refused to attend, instead accusing Russian Federation of arming Taliban fighters and undermining NATO's efforts to bring peace and security to the region.

Waheed Muzhda, a former official in the Taliban government that ruled Kabul until the 2001 USA -led invasion, said Russian outreach to the Taliban began a decade ago, when it twice invited insurgent representatives to Moscow to express concern over Uzbek militants fighting alongside them.

Moscow says its reason for getting involved in peace talks is to prevent instability from spilling over to central Asia.

Although the Russian initiative is seen as a long shot, analysts said it could emerge as a counterweight to US influence in Afghanistan.

Moscow is expected to host the next conference on Afghan peace negotiations on Friday.

Speaking at a news conference in Kabul, Ghani acknowledged Russian Federation is also threatened by terrorism and sympathized with victims of recent terrorist attack in that country.

"For whatever motive, (Russia) is doing what should be done, which is trying to bring the Taliban into a regional political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan".

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