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US-Taliban negotiations in Doha take short pause after '3 solid days of talks' | Diplomacy
US-Taliban negotiations in Doha take short pause after '3 solid days of talks'

Talks are expected to resume March 2 after a short pause for 'internal deliberations'.

Former Taliban militants enjoying comfortable life and peace in Kunduz | Security
Former Taliban militants enjoying comfortable life and peace in Kunduz

Giving up the fight against the Afghan government is paying off as jobs provide former insurgents a path back to normal lives.

Kunduz in 'darkness' as Taliban continues nighttime communication bans | Security
Kunduz in 'darkness' as Taliban continues nighttime communication bans

Local residents can't call taxis to take those in need to hospitals, can't update relatives, and can't access the internet to get the latest news.

Afghan army seeks 5,000 female recruits to bolster search operations | Women's Rights
Afghan army seeks 5,000 female recruits to bolster search operations

While the army has about 2,000 females in its ranks, more are needed, especially for search-operation roles.

Afghanistan's new civil service hiring system seeks to eliminate corruption | Technology
Afghanistan's new civil service hiring system seeks to eliminate corruption

Computer-based testing and online applications are meant to make the application process more transparent and to ensure merit-based hiring.

Afghans paint dark picture of what life might be like if Taliban return to power | Security
Afghans paint dark picture of what life might be like if Taliban return to power

Afghans in areas under Taliban control live in fear of flogging, executions and harsh restrictions on women's rights.

'Now the work begins in earnest': Khalilzad kicks off fresh talks with Taliban | Diplomacy
'Now the work begins in earnest': Khalilzad kicks off fresh talks with Taliban

US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a Taliban deputy leader and a co-founder of the group, have conferred for the first time.

Taliban, ISIS step up 'deliberate targeting' of civilians as deaths hit record high | Terrorism
Taliban, ISIS step up 'deliberate targeting' of civilians as deaths hit record high

'It is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy,' said Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan.

Taliban morale takes a hit as leadership losses mount | Security
Taliban morale takes a hit as leadership losses mount

The increased pressure on the Taliban and rising casualty rates have raised concerns among the rank and file, who are struggling to survive the onslaught.

Seeking a peaceful life, more Taliban, ISIS fighters surrender in Nangarhar | Security
Seeking a peaceful life, more Taliban, ISIS fighters surrender in Nangarhar

Eighteen Taliban and three ISIS fighters surrendered to authorities, saying they were encouraged by previous insurgents who renounced violence and now have a better life.

Calls grow for Russia to pay restitution for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan | Diplomacy
Calls grow for Russia to pay restitution for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

Russia should pay restitution to the Afghan people, rather than meddling in Afghanistan's internal affairs and supporting the Taliban, local officials and analysts say.

Moscow meeting shows Taliban's allegiance to Russian intelligence | Diplomacy
Moscow meeting shows Taliban's allegiance to Russian intelligence

The recent 'peace talks' were set up by Russia's intelligence service, not Afghans living in Russia, as the Kremlin tried to spin.

'We have had enough of war', say surrendering Taliban fighters in Faryab | Security
'We have had enough of war', say surrendering Taliban fighters in Faryab

Calls by Afghans for insurgents to lay down their arms have accelerated amid ongoing peace talks.

Iran's incursion into Afghan media attempts to undermine journalism freedoms | Media
Iran's incursion into Afghan media attempts to undermine journalism freedoms

Iran has used various means to create rifts among Afghan journalists, including investing in a select group of reporters who work to promote Iranian interests.

Afghan forces destroy Taliban torture facility in Herat | Security
Afghan forces destroy Taliban torture facility in Herat

Security personnel found whips, chains and other devices at the prison before they destroyed it.

Eyeing more trade, Pakistan prepares to keep border with Afghanistan open 24/7 | Business
Eyeing more trade, Pakistan prepares to keep border with Afghanistan open 24/7

Tribal elders on both sides of the border hope the move will improve brotherly relations, while traders are optimistic for a boost in business.

In 'preposterous' claim, ex-Taliban official says militants protected girls by denying their education | Education
In 'preposterous' claim, ex-Taliban official says militants protected girls by denying their education

In reality, the Taliban acted out of ignorance and wanted to keep a generation of Afghans illiterate and malleable, religious scholars and education officials say.

Russia revises history of Soviet-Afghan war to justify opposition to West | Analysis
Russia revises history of Soviet-Afghan war to justify opposition to West

Thirty years after the end of the USSR's bloody occupation of Afghanistan, some of President Vladimir Putin's cronies are attempting to rewrite that story, analysts say.

ANDSF, popular uprising fight Taliban extortion, brutality in Samangan | Security
ANDSF, popular uprising fight Taliban extortion, brutality in Samangan

The Taliban killed 10 civilians who refused to pay the militants ushr and regularly force coal truck drivers to pay extortion, local residents and officials say.

Taliban's disregard for Afghan security forces sparks outrage | Protests
Taliban's disregard for Afghan security forces sparks outrage

Taliban representative Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said the Afghan National Army should be dissolved. He swiftly backtracked after widespread condemnation from the Afghan public.

Acting Pentagon chief makes surprise visit to Kabul amid push for peace | Security
Acting Pentagon chief makes surprise visit to Kabul amid push for peace

'The Afghans have to decide what Afghanistan looks like in the future,' said Patrick Shanahan.

Khalilzad heads 6-nation tour to bring about intra-Afghan talks | Diplomacy
Khalilzad heads 6-nation tour to bring about intra-Afghan talks

The goal of the delegation to bring all Afghan parties together in an intra-Afghan dialogue, the US State Department said.

Afghans strongly oppose Moscow meeting | Diplomacy
Afghans strongly oppose Moscow meeting

Looking for peace in an enemy's home is not the right thing to do, a religious scholar in Herat said.

Ghani fired Mohaqiq to counter Iranian influence in Afghanistan | Security
Ghani fired Mohaqiq to counter Iranian influence in Afghanistan

President Ashraf Ghani fired Deputy Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq in a move observers say was more than just political and was aimed at protecting Afghanistan's national interests.

Taliban steal trucks, extort drivers on Faryab-Balkh highway | Security
Taliban steal trucks, extort drivers on Faryab-Balkh highway

The militants hope to use the contents of 22 trucks, including eight oil tankers, to fund their fight against the Afghan people and government, local officials and merchants say.

Kabul residents choke as air quality, temperatures plunge | Health
Kabul residents choke as air quality, temperatures plunge

The air quality index reading is often above 300, while at night it can top 600. Any reading over 100 is considered unhealthy, according to the World Health Organisation.

Praying behind Taliban member not justified in Sharia, says Afghan scholar | Religion
Praying behind Taliban member not justified in Sharia, says Afghan scholar

Afghan opposition politicians meeting with Taliban representatives in Moscow were seen praying behind a member of the Taliban in a hotel lobby.

Moscow meeting has no bearing on Afghan-Taliban peace process: Ghani | Diplomacy
Moscow meeting has no bearing on Afghan-Taliban peace process: Ghani

The meeting between Afghan opposition politicians and the Taliban in Russia 'is nothing more than a fantasy', President Ashraf Ghani said.

Helmand residents beg the Taliban: 'Stop killing us' | Security
Helmand residents beg the Taliban: 'Stop killing us'

Hundreds of residents in two districts of Helmand Province called on the Taliban to renounce violence and make peace.

US remains committed to 'centrality' of Afghan government in peace talks | Diplomacy
US remains committed to 'centrality' of Afghan government in peace talks

Head of US Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored the importance of reaching a Taliban-Afghanistan discussion.

We are not a 'political tool', say Afghan women on Moscow meeting | Women's Rights
We are not a 'political tool', say Afghan women on Moscow meeting

Afghan women have vowed not to accept a return to the Taliban's brutal treatment and restrictions of women and girls.

Taliban, ISIS clashes intensify as spies on each side sow discord | Security
Taliban, ISIS clashes intensify as spies on each side sow discord

While the increasingly paranoid Taliban and ISIS try to wipe out spies in their own ranks, Afghan forces are launching robust operations against both groups, military officials say.

Facebook removes fake Iranian accounts targeting Afghanistan, Pakistan | Technology
Facebook removes fake Iranian accounts targeting Afghanistan, Pakistan

Afghanistan and Pakistan were among the countries targeted by almost 800 pages, groups and accounts Facebook identified as part of a disinformation operation 'directed from Iran'.

Moscow meeting between Taliban, Afghan opposition seeks to derail peace process | Diplomacy
Moscow meeting between Taliban, Afghan opposition seeks to derail peace process

A second meeting in Moscow -- this time between Taliban representatives and Afghan opposition politicians -- is yet another attempt by Russia to sabotage the peace process.

Marching to end bloodshed, People's Peace Movement arrives in Herat | Security
Marching to end bloodshed, People's Peace Movement arrives in Herat

The movement has so far brought its calls for peace from Helmand to Kabul, Kandahar, Maidan Wardak, Ghazni, Balkh, Kunduz, Uruzgan, Baghlan, Khost and Herat provinces.

'We were naive': Taliban, ISIS militants join peace process in Nangarhar | Security
'We were naive': Taliban, ISIS militants join peace process in Nangarhar

Afghan military operations and the push for peace negotiations are helping to accelerate militants' surrender to authorities, officials say.

Newsbrief

Afghan forces seize 550kg of Taliban narcotics in Helmand Coalition air strike kills 6 ISIS members in Nangarhar Afghan forces seize up to 8 tonnes of explosives in Logar Khan allows Afghan refugees to open bank accounts in Pakistan Afghan commandos free 10 police officers held by Taliban in Balkh Afghan commandos in Ghazni kill Taliban leader in charge of collecting ushr Protesters demanding new province reopen Kabul-Kandahar highway in Ghazni Afghan forces arrest 4 Taliban assassins in Kabul Afghan, coalition forces destroy drug lab, bomb factory in Herat Afghan forces destroy Taliban hideout in Nangarhar, killing 9 militants Direct talks between Afghan government, Taliban could start in a 'few months' Afghan air strikes kill at least 10 Taliban militants in Faryab Ghani, CENTCOM commander discuss peace process, security forces Premature blast kills 2 Taliban militants in Kandahar Hundreds of Kunar residents rally for peace NDS arrests 2 ISIS members in connection with deadly Kabul bombing 'No unilateral troop reduction' by US: acting Pentagon chief Premature bomb blast kills 4 Taliban militants in Nangarhar Afghan forces kill at least 7 Taliban militants in Faryab Ghani calls consultative jirga on peace with Taliban Former president Mojaddedi, 93, dies in Kabul Taliban unveil 14-member negotiating team for peace talks with US Kandahar police capture Taliban shadow district governor Ghani thanks Nangarhar residents for standing alongside Afghan forces Afghan commandos free 7 captives from Taliban prison in Helmand NDS arrests 3 Haqqani Network members linked to deadly bombings in Kabul Afghan government files complaint against Russia at UN over Moscow meeting Afghan commandos free 5 captives from Taliban prison in Kunduz Afghan forces kill at least 11 Taliban militants in Nangarhar Coalition air strike kills 2 ISIS members in Nangarhar Unknown gunmen kill 2 journalists in Takhar Wide-ranging operations in Afghanistan kill at least 19 militants Taliban kill 10 civilians resisting extortion in Samangan Afghan, coalition officials visit Kandahar to assess security