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Phillip Walter Wellman

Taliban maintains ties with al-Qaida despite US peace deal, UN says

The Taliban haven’t severed ties with al-Qaida and may have strengthened them, despite pledging to stop cooperating with terrorist groups, the United Nations said in a report released this week.

Afghan political rivals agree on power-sharing deal after months of bickering

According to a close aide to Abdullah Abdullah, the two sides have agreed to form a coalition government and Abdullah will lead the peace process with the Taliban militants.


Taliban attack leaves five civilians dead as Afghan military prepares to attack the insurgents

A Taliban truck bomb killed at least five civilians when it exploded near a military court in eastern Afghanistan.


ISIS fighters who attacked Bagram killed in raids, Afghan forces say

Five members of an Islamic State terror cell that attacked the largest American base in Afghanistan earlier this year were killed in a series of operations by Afghan commandos in and around Kabul, Afghan officials said Wednesday.


Information restrictions on Afghan War deepen as military withholds American airstrike data

The U.S. military has stopped releasing information about airstrikes it conducts in Afghanistan, reversing a longtime policy amid a spike in violence in recent weeks, officials said.


US-led coalition in Afghanistan withholds more information from public as violence intensifies, watchdog says

The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan is for the first time withholding information about enemy attacks in Afghanistan from the public, as violence rises in the country and the U.S. begins drawing down its troops, a U.S. government watchdog said.


Army stands up adviser brigade ahead of Afghanistan deployment

The latest Army unit created to train and advise foreign forces has been activated ahead of a fall deployment to Afghanistan.


Decline in civilian casualties reversed by Taliban violence after peace deal signing, UN says

Growing violence since the signing of the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement contributed to a first-quarter death toll of over 500 civilians in Afghanistan, the United Nations said Monday.


Taliban vow to keep fighting during Ramadan despite coronavirus concerns

The Taliban have rejected calls for a cease-fire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, despite warnings from U.S. and Afghan officials that the coronavirus outbreak in the country would worsen if violence continues.


Six Afghan workers killed outside Bagram Airfield

Six Afghans who worked at Bagram Airfield were shot dead Thursday just outside the base, an Afghan official said.


US commander meets Taliban officials as Afghan peace process stutters

The meeting between Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller and Taliban leaders came as both sides accuse each other of ramping up violence since signing a peace deal on Feb. 29.


Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan comes under attack

The Islamic State group fired several rockets at Bagram Airfield on Thursday, the latest in a string of recent attacks targeting the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.


Taliban says it’s walking away from talks with government over prisoner release

Afghanistan’s fragile peace process suffered a major blow Tuesday as the Taliban said it was breaking off talks with the government about a prisoner exchange, which is a key part of a deal the insurgents signed with the United States.


Gold Star families hold out hope for peace in Afghanistan

Three Gold Star families talk about the prospect of the U.S.’s longest war coming to an end.


Afghan government and Taliban say prisoner release to start within days

Thousands of prisoners in Afghanistan could start being released by early next week, fulfilling a key condition of the nearly month-old U.S.-Taliban deal to bring peace to the country, government and Taliban officials said.


US condemns ‘fanatics and criminals’ as dozens killed in Sikh temple attack in Kabul

At least 25 people were killed when a lone gunman attacked a Sikh temple in Kabul’s old town Wednesday, starting an hourslong firefight with Afghan security forces, local officials said.


Four coronavirus cases confirmed at coalition bases in Afghanistan

Four service members in Afghanistan have tested positive for the coronavirus while being held in a screening facility after arriving in the country, military officials said Tuesday.


Pompeo makes surprise visit to Afghanistan as peace process slumps

During his visit, U.S. secretary of state is expected to try to help end the impasse, which has put on hold the start of intra-Afghan peace talks that would include the Taliban.


Military halts Afghanistan deployments, will extend some troops there amid coronavirus concerns

The announcement comes after some U.S. lawmakers last week voiced concerns that U.S. troops in Afghanistan were not properly protected from the pandemic.


Kabul to release Taliban POWs ahead of peace talks

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani agreed on Wednesday to release Taliban prisoners so that peace talks can begin between the government and insurgent group.


US troops start to leave Afghanistan, but peace process hits a snag on government, Taliban talks

The United States met a deadline set out in its peace deal with the Taliban when it began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan this week, but the peace process hit a snag as the insurgents and Afghan government failed to start negotiations Tuesday to chart out the country’s future.


Rocket blasts disrupt Afghanistan presidential inauguration, adding chaos to peace process

Rocket blasts briefly interrupted the swearing-in ceremony Monday of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which took place as his chief rival in last year’s election for the country’s highest office held his own inauguration nearby.


Gunfire at ceremony in Kabul kills at least 32; ISIS claims responsibility

Gunfire killed dozens of people at a memorial in Kabul attended by senior Afghan government officials Friday. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its website.


US military targets Taliban in first airstrike since signing peace deal

The strike in Helmand province targeted Taliban fighters who were attacking an Afghan forces checkpoint, said a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan.


Discord rises over release of prisoners, conditions of withdrawal as Afghan peace talks move forward

Some in Afghanistan said that the Taliban’s refusal to include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the deal guaranteed some discord from the start and underscored how difficult it will be for Afghan negotiations to bring peace.


Analysis

With US-Taliban pact moving forward, Afghan political rivals might set aside election drama

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government could ease tensions over a drawn-out election drama in Afghanistan, where, after nearly two decades of U.S.-led war and reconstruction efforts, a stable democracy has yet to take shape.