Afghan forces foil terror bids; Taliban, government restart talks

Staff Report

KABUL -- Security agencies arrested a would-be suicide bomber and seized a cache of arms and ammunitions in Parwan and Kapisa provinces, media reported.

Law enforcement agencies foiled a terror bid and arrested a would-be suicide bomber before he managed to carry out a suicide attack using a motorbike packed with explosives in Charikar city of Parwan Province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said October 18, according to Afghanistan Times.

The NDS operatives also seized a cache of weapons, eight grenade launchers, 12,000 rounds and two military uniforms during a raid in Kapisa Province, the NDS added.

Meanwhile, media reported that the Afghan Taliban and government had two rounds of secret talks in Doha, Qatar.

The Afghan officials and Taliban representatives in Doha had met twice since early September, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported October 18, quoting an official on condition of anonymity.

The British newspaper The Guardian has also reported that the two sides had restarted negotiations secretly in September, noting that the brother of the late Mullah Mohammad Omar, Mullah Abdul Manan Akhund, represented the Afghan Taliban in the talks.

Afghan intelligence chief Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai had a meeting with Mullah Akhund in Doha, The Guardian reported October 18.

Afghan National Security Advisor Muhammad Hanif Atmar also attended the meeting with Stanekzai, TOLO News reported October 18, quoting a source from the Afghan president's office.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied any reports of talks or meetings, Dawn reported October 19.

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