Jan 12, 2021 16:52 UTC
  • Two female officers killed in Afghanistan as Taliban talks show no progress

Three people, including two female army officers, have been killed and three other people have been wounded in separate attacks in Afghanistan, amid stalled peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha.

The two female army soldiers lost their lives, while two officers and their driver were injured after gunmen opened fire on their army vehicle in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of the northern Balkh Province, on Tuesday morning, said Hanif Rezai, spokesman for an army base in the region.

“The attack happened while the soldiers and officers were on their way to the military corps,” he said.

“Gunmen opened fire on their vehicle,” he said, adding that investigations were underway.

In another incident, in eastern Ghazni Province, a bank employee was shot and killed by a gunman.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for either of the attacks.

‘No progress in intra-Afghan talks’

Meanwhile, the intra-Afghan peace negotiations in Doha have had no progress over the past three days.

The two sides have not yet agreed on a unified agenda, according to sources from the government negotiating team, who said neither side had shown flexibility in the negotiations.

“The Taliban think that they will not benefit if they agree to a ceasefire before an agreement on a (future) government,” said Gul Rahman Qazi, the head of the Peace and Salvation Council of Afghanistan.

“The Taliban do not want to agree on a ceasefire ahead of an agreement,” he added.

Afghan Parliament Speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani, meanwhile, said that the legislature “is following the peace process and will stand against any compromise.”

According to the High Council for National Reconciliation, attempts are underway to find a solution to unify the agenda.

“Discussions about unifying the agenda have started and we hope that they make a decision in the interest of the people of Afghanistan,” said Fraidoon Khwazoon, spokesman for the council.

The Afghan government and the Taliban held the first round of the intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on September 12 last year. The two sides took a break after striking a preliminary deal.