Taliban kill 48 in bloody day ahead of Afghan polls

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There was no claim of responsibility from any militant group after the blast. He declared the talks "dead" on September 10.

A presidential election, which the Taliban and even many Western officials had wanted to cancel to focus on sealing the peace accord, is now expected to go ahead on September 28. In early September, Stanikzai claimed an agreement was reached by the USA and the Taliban.

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai has defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across Afghanistan after Donald Trump called off negotiations earlier this month because of an attack that killed a USA soldier.

But the militants have also repeatedly voiced their belief that the USA will eventually have to return to the table for more negotiations.

The Trump administration continued to launch a historic number of airstrikes during the peace negotiations to pressure the Taliban into an agreement to end the almost 18-yea-old war.

The two sides had engaged in nine rounds of talks in Doha, Qatar, and a meeting on U.S. soil had been mooted before negotiations failed.

An attack on Tuesday saw 26 people dead at a rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in the central province of Parwan.

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Trump had talked about the USA change into once walking away from negotiations after practically a pair of year of grinding diplomatic efforts to strike a deal that can pave the plot in which for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan following 18 years of battle.

Meanwhile, Afghan National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohibt said that Taliban "intimidation tactics" would not succeed.

"As the Taliban continue their crimes, they once again prove that they are not interested in peace and stability in Afghanistan", said Ghani in a statement.

The president's campaign spokesman Hamed Aziz says that Ghani was there but that he is safe and unharmed.

Nevertheless, the senior Afghan official said a number of the particulars of what could occur when the withdrawal happened were uncertain.

On Sept. 2, Khalilzad announced the two sides had a draft peace deal "in principle" that included withdrawing 5,400 US troops from the country and closing five USA military bases over 135 days, in exchange for the Taliban taking action to reduce violence in the Afghan provinces of Parwan and Kabul. President Ghani had been due to speak ahead of elections later this month. The Taliban claimed both attacks, warning of more to come, especially on election related activities.

"The toll includes women and children", a statement from the ministry said, adding that among the dead were six security forces.

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