Taliban attack kills 14, wounds 145 amid peace talks with US

Taliban attack kills 14, wounds 145 amid peace talks with US
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A car bomb detonated by Taliban forces in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed more than a dozen people and wounded nearly 150 more Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.

The bomb detonated during morning rush hour in a busy neighborhood in the nation’s capital. While it was aimed at Afghan security forces, the majority of the 14 killed and 145 wounded were civilians, according to the AP.

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Deputy Interior Minister Khoshal Sadat told reporters that of those wounded when the car exploded at a security checkpoint, 92 were civilians, while four of the dead were police officers.

The attack comes amid ongoing peace talks between the Taliban and the U.S., during which the Taliban have pledged to do more to prevent civilian loss of life even as July saw the most monthly civilian casualties since 2017 at more than 1,500, according to the United Nations.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said such attacks represent a major roadblock in peace negotiations, although he told reporters “Afghan security forces are strong and can protect the Afghan population,” according to the AP.

Taliban forces have been staging attacks on security forces throughout the country nearly daily, according to the AP, and on Tuesday issued a warning against voting in the Sept. 28 presidential election, which has already been delayed over safety concerns.

The group is in its strongest territorial position since 2001, when the U.S. invaded the nation and removed them from power over their refusal to turn over Osama bin Laden.

Abdul Ahid Walizada, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, said a separate bombing wounded at least eight Wednesday in the western city of Herat, according to the AP.