Afghan Officials Say Attack on Ministry Was Repelled

The Taliban did not define what was meant by

"These strikes represent one of the largest blows to Taliban leadership in the past year", U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and Resolute Support commander, said in the press release.

Reuters reports that two loud explosions and gunfire were heard in proximity of the Interior Ministry compound and that police inside reported that the facility was under attack by militants.

Just after midday, a auto bomb exploded at the entrance to the ministry compound, said Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

"He is a very thoughtful guy [and] a very analytical person", Mr. Sedney said of Gen. Miller, with whom he worked closely during the two-star general's stint as head of all USA special operations forces in Afghanistan in 2013.

On the same day, at least three Afghan police officers were killed after a group of suicide bombers launched an attack on a police station in the eastern province of Logar.

He said the attackers set off a suicide auto bomb at the entrance to the station before three suicide bombers tried to enter. No group immediately claimed responsibility.

An Afghan military spokesman says elite commando units have freed dozens of prisoners held by the Taliban, including women and children, in an early morning operation in southern Helmand province.

Some elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan are showing interest in peace talks, the top U.S. commander in Kabul said Wednesday, citing "off stage" contacts involving what he described as mid- and high-level leaders of the insurgency.

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"We think the meeting was to plan next steps", O'Donnell said.

On May 24, they were spotted in a known Taliban command center in Musa Qala.

Mohammad Salim Roodi says the attack took place in Girishk district when the police tried to stop a suspicious vehicle outside the governor's compound.

"This was a civilian residential area, which had no connection with the Taliban", spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said in a statement.

But the Trump administration has not abandoned the broader diplomatic aim of trying to bring about real peace talks with Taliban leaders, said Javid Ahmad, a fellow at the Atlantic Council who studies Afghanistan extensively. The Taliban has stepped up the fighting despite a surge of USA military activity as part of Washington's new war strategy set in motion last summer. That conclusion contrasts with assertions last fall by the American military that the Afghans, with US support, had "turned the corner" and captured momentum against the Taliban, which it called fractured and desperate.

The Ministry of Interior moved to the new building past year - a building which is close to main military bases including the Ministry of Defense and the National Directorate of Security as well as the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

However, he did not provide further details about the attack.

Gen. Miller's extensive operational and command experience in Afghanistan, going back to when the Army Special Forces officer led the Obama-era Afghanistan-Pakistan Coordination Cell at the Pentagon in 2009, makes the special operations veteran a good fit to usher in the Trump era of the longest war in USA history, some defense analysts say.

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