News / Asia

    Taliban Claim Killing of 4 US Troops

    Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013. Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013.
    x
    Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013.
    Muhammad Naeem (L), a spokesman for the Office of the Taliban of Afghanistan speaks during the opening of the Taliban Afghanistan Political Office in Doha, June 18, 2013.
    VOA News
    The Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed four U.S. troops in Afghanistan, hours after the U.S. announced it was opening formal talks with the insurgent group.

    A Taliban spokesman said the group fired two rockets into the Bagram air base on Tuesday.

    Earlier, the U.S. said direct negotiations with the Taliban will begin Thursday in Doha, the capital of the Persian Gulf country of Qatar,  in a push to establish a framework for ending more than a decade of war in Afghanistan.

    Senior U.S. State Department and White House officials are expected to meet with a Taliban delegation, in what authorities are describing as preliminary talks.

    President Barack Obama, speaking Tuesday at a G8 summit in Northern Ireland, called the Qatar talks "a very early first step," and cautioned that he expects "there will be a lot of bumps in the road."

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government is not expected to participate in the initial round of the Doha talks.  

    But officials say Thursday's talks are expected to lead to a meeting between the Taliban and a peace council established by the Afghan leader.  To date, the Taliban has refused to talk publicly with the Karzai government.

    President Karzai said Tuesday his government will send envoys to Qatar to try to open peace talks in Kabul with the Taliban.   

    "The principles are that the talks, having begun in Qatar, must immediately be moved to Afghanistan; second, that the talks must bring about an end to violence in Afghanistan; third, that the talks must not become a tool for any third country for exploitation with regard to its or their interests in Afghanistan," he said.

    Mr. Karzai commented in Kabul, during a ceremony in which Afghan forces took over responsibility for security for the entire country from the NATO military coalition set to leave the country next year.

    In a VOA interview, foreign policy expert John Feffer of the Institute for Policy Studies said it appears there is some resistance to talks within the ranks of the Taliban, with some members of the group taking a wait-and-see attitude.

    “They are interested in seeing who will emerge to replace Karzai and they are interested in seeing how much control they can get on the ground, especially with the increased violence that has taken place recently,” he said.

    Earlier Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said the Taliban and other insurgent groups need to break ties with al-Qaida, end violence and accept Afghanistan's constitution, for the reconciliation process to move forward.

    He also said leaders in neighboring Pakistan understand there can be no stability in their country without stability in Afghanistan.  The official said Pakistan's support of the peace process is in keeping with its national interests

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora