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Insurgents attacked police checkpoint, killing 5

Insurgents attacked police checkpoint, killing 5

The insurgents were offered incentives two weeks ago by President Ashraf Ghani in exchange for them ending violence.

Washington's apparent policy shift after 16 years, from a military victory to a political reconciliation with the Taliban, came two weeks after President Ashraf Ghani, in an global conference in Kabul on February 28, had offered the Taliban a similar proposal that called for a "ceasefire", the recognition of the Taliban as a political party, confidence-building measures, and free and fair elections. He offered his full support to the Afghan-led reconciliation process, White said, noting that it is aimed at achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan. The Afghan leader also called for a ceasefire after which the Taliban could become a political party.

Trump has made no secret of anger toward Pakistan or his pessimism about Taliban peace talks, declaring on January 29 after a series of Taliban attacks in Afghanistan: "I don't see any talking taking place". In return, the Taliban would need to recognise the Kabul government and constitution - a perennial sticking point in past attempts to open talks.

"In the Taliban s mind, they see what is coming and these capabilities are only going to get greater", Nicholson told reporters accompanying Mattis on a visit to Bagram Airfield, America s largest air base in Afghanistan that is located north of Kabul.

The editorial has been met by mixed reactions over what the Taliban's aims are.

An outright refusal to talk to Ghani's administration would give Afghan and United States forces justification to ramp up air strikes against the militants. AP quoted him, "We do look toward a victory in Afghanistan", continuing, "Not a military victory-the victory will be a political reconciliation" with the Taliban.

Ghani´s offer of peace talks comes as civilian casualties have soared in recent months, with the Taliban increasingly targeting towns and cities in response to Trump´s more aggressive military policy.

An Afghan official says at least five Afghan police forces have been killed after insurgents attacked their checkpoint in western Farah province.

The latest assault in Farah, which borders Iran, happened in the early hours of Wednesday when Taliban militants stormed a checkpoint manned by police and intelligence officers on the outskirts of the provincial capital of the same name, killing seven security forces.