A Taliban attack killed at least 21 people in northern Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday, after a wave of lethal bombings in the capital as the insurgency escalates following a bitter power transition. Ghani said that the Taliban was operating bomb-making factories and suicide training centers in Pakistan and that Islamabad needs to do more to cut the Taliban off. “We know they have sanctuaries there, we know they are active there”. He had not been seen in public since fleeing over the border into Pakistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.
Experts say the growing number of attacks demonstrates Mullah Mansour’s attempt to boost his image among Taliban cadres and drive attention away from internal rifts over his leadership.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said two vehicles belonging to foreign coalition forces were the target of the attack, claiming that all people aboard were killed.
On Monday, Ghani appeared to take a step back on the peace talks.
A huge blast struck near the entrance of Kabul’s global airport on Monday during the peak lunchtime period, officials said, warning that heavy casualties were expected.
“We don’t want Pakistan to bring the Taliban to peace talks, but to stop the Taliban’s activities on their soil”, he said.
Kabul has been rocked by a series of attacks in recent days that have killed scores of people and wounded hundreds.
And in the eastern Nangarhar province, a drone strike carried out by Afghan forces killed 15 suspected insurgents and wounded nine others on Saturday, according to a provincial police chief.
Ghani said, “Pakistan still remains a venue and ground for gatherings from which mercenaries send us messages of war”.
Earlier this month, the Afghan intelligence service disclosed that Mullah Omar had been dead for more than two years.