Taliban says its ‘doors are open’ to resuming stalled talks with Washington hours after killing 485 min read

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The Taliban’s chief negotiator has said their ‘doors are open’ to resuming talks with Washington, hours after two attacks by them killed at least 48 people. 

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 US soldier.

And this morning a suicide bomber detonated inside a government building in east Afghanistan in an attack that no one has claimed responsibility for yet.   

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai (right) has said the Taliban's 'doors are open' to resuming talks with Washington, hours after two attacks by them killed at least 48 people

Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai (right) has said the Taliban’s ‘doors are open’ to resuming talks with Washington, hours after two attacks by them killed at least 48 people

He has defended the Taliban's role in recent bloodshed across Afghanistan. Pictured is the aftermath of a suicide attack near the US Embassy in Kabul yesterday

He has defended the Taliban’s role in recent bloodshed across Afghanistan. Pictured is the aftermath of a suicide attack near the US Embassy in Kabul yesterday

Stanikzai argued that Americans had admitted to killing thousands of Taliban members during the discussions and that the insurgents had done nothing wrong by continuing to fight throughout the talks. 

He told the BBC: ‘From our side, our doors are open for negotiations.’

Trump had said the US was walking away from negotiations after nearly a year of trying to strike a deal that could pave the way for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan following 18 years of war.

He declared the talks ‘dead’ on September 10.

But his administration, which has made no secret of its wish to bring troops home, also left the door open for a new attempt, though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the Taliban must show a ‘significant commitment’ if talks were to resume.

Stanikzai argued that Americans had admitted to killing thousands of Taliban members during the discussions and that the insurgents had done nothing wrong by continuing to fight throughout the talks. Pictured are Afghan police inspecting the site of another suicide attack that happened yesterday in Parwan province

Stanikzai argued that Americans had admitted to killing thousands of Taliban members during the discussions and that the insurgents had done nothing wrong by continuing to fight throughout the talks. Pictured are Afghan police inspecting the site of another suicide attack that happened yesterday in Parwan province

Yesterday’s attacks left at least 26 people dead at a rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan, while 22 were killed in a blast in Kabul just over an hour later.

They were the bloodiest attacks to hit Afghanistan since the talks fell apart eight days ago. 

Dozens more were wounded in the blasts, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Yesterday's attacks left at least 26 people dead at a rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan, while 22 were killed in a blast in Kabul (pictured) just over an hour later

Yesterday’s attacks left at least 26 people dead at a rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan, while 22 were killed in a blast in Kabul (pictured) just over an hour later

More violence is expected in coming days as Afghans prepare for a presidential election on September 28, which the Taliban have promised to disrupt.

‘We already warned people not to attend election rallies. If they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility,’ Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement released after Tuesday’s blasts.

The insurgents have said previously that the only other option is to continue fighting.

‘We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations,’ Mujahid told AFP earlier this month.

‘If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it.’ 

'We already warned people not to attend election rallies. If they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility,' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement released after Tuesday's blasts. Pictured are police investigating the scene in Parwan province

‘We already warned people not to attend election rallies. If they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility,’ Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement released after Tuesday’s blasts. Pictured are police investigating the scene in Parwan province

A wounded Afghan man is taken out of an ambulance  at the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital following a bomb blast in Kabul

A wounded Afghan man is taken out of an ambulance at the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital following a bomb blast in Kabul

Witnesses and an AFP reporter also described hearing gunshots immediately after today’s blast at the electronic identification registration centre in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, where both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active.

‘I was in class when I heard a big explosion followed by intense gunfire,’ said Mohammad Ullah, a teacher at a nearby school.

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‘The kids started crying so we had to vacate the school. We jumped over the walls to take the students to a safer place.’

Afghan police inspect the site of a suicide attack in northern Parwan province at a checkpoint leading to a rally by President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan police inspect the site of a suicide attack in northern Parwan province at a checkpoint leading to a rally by President Ashraf Ghani

One of the blasts in Afghanistan went off in Kabul while the other was in Parwan province, north of the capital

One of the blasts in Afghanistan went off in Kabul while the other was in Parwan province, north of the capital 

‘Security forces are in the area to rescue the staff,’ said provincial spokesman Ataullah Khogyani.

No group immediately claimed the attack, and it was not clear how many people had been inside the centre – where Afghans can register for their national electronic identification cards, or ‘tazkiras’ – at the time. 

An Afghan firefighter sprays water on the ground at the site of a suicide attack that targeted a campaign rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Parwan Province

An Afghan firefighter sprays water on the ground at the site of a suicide attack that targeted a campaign rally for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Parwan Province

The militants have vowed to disrupt the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for September 28, in which President Ashraf Ghani is taking on his own Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, and more than a dozen other candidates.

The winner is hoping for a mandate to negotiate with the Taliban for a lasting peace in the country suffering from decades of violence.

But the insurgents want to undermine the legitimacy of the process and keep the president weak.