China, Russia and United States acknowledge Pakistan's role in Afghan peace process

A soldier with NATO forces stands guard during the graduation ceremony of newly Afghan National Army soldiers in Kabul

A soldier with NATO forces stands guard during the graduation ceremony of newly Afghan National Army soldiers in Kabul

The Afghan interior ministry said security forces were locked in an intense exchange of fire with the assailants, killing two of them and trying to neutralize the rest.

Meanwhile, a United States service member was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday, the Nato-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement today.

The Taliban refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government, calling it a USA puppet, but have said they would talk with government officials if they arrive at the meeting as ordinary Afghans.

In a telephone interview, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the terrorist group was behind Saturday's killing, even as USA peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has been holding talks with the Taliban in recent weeks to try and negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.

The militants assaulted the building containing a hotel, several eateries and shops situated near the police headquarters and the governor's house in Qala-e-Naw, the capital city of Badghis province.

In a tweet, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said two American soldiers were killed and three wounded in a bomb attack in Wardak province. The fatality reportedly has brought to 2,430 the number of USA service members killed since the Afghan war started in October of 2001. Badghis health department chief Abdul-Latif Roustaie told The Associated Press that 10 people were wounded.

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He said three attackers were killed by security forces and two others were arrested.

Indian security agencies said the terrorist cadre's shift to across the Durand Line has been done to avoid black-listing of Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in its Paris conference later this year.

The incident comes less than a week after Taliban officials were sitting face-to-face with USA negotiators in Doha in a bid to end Afghanistan´s almost 18-year-old war.

The four countries held talks in Beijing from July 11-12 amid US and worldwide efforts to end the almost 18-year war in Afghanistan.

Rahimi added that a number of civilians have also been affected in the attack.

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