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Afghanistan To Host International Peace Conference

09 June 2017

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Tuesday that more than 150 people died in last week's truck bombing in Kabul, raising earlier counts and making it one of the deadliest such attacks since the American-led invasion toppled the Taliban in 2001.

Abdul Ahid Wali Zada, a police spokesperson, said the bomb was planted in a rickshaw that detonated near the large mosque dating from the 12th century.

Gelani Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor of the western Herat province, says Tuesday's blast took place near the main Sunni mosque in Herat city, adding that the toll could rise.

According to the MoI, Pakistan's spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) supplied the Haqqani network with explosives to conduct the bombing in Kabul that killed over 100 people.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani (C) attends a peace and security cooperation conference in Kabul, Afghanistan June 6, 2017.

"What we have seen is a fragmentation of regional and worldwide consensus on Afghanistan, mainly created by the absence of USA leadership and direction".

At least 300 people, including women and children, were injured in the explosion, Ghani said while speaking at the Kabul Process meeting.

The incident came at the time when Afghanistan is hosting Kabul Process summit amid extremely tight security days after the capital city was hit by terror attacks that wrecked the political stability in the country. He said that up to 11,000 foreign militants had allegedly arrived in Afghanistan in the last two years to fight for Daesh.

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As of late previous year, the Taliban contested or controlled about 40 per cent of the country, according to US government estimates, leading some observers to doubt the group would be willing to negotiate any time soon.

More than 30 of the total number of people who lost their lives in last week's truck bombing in the capital Kabul, were staffers of Afghanistan's leading private telecommunication firm, according to Anadolu Agency.

Representatives of around 25 countries, including Pakistan, India, China and the U.S., along with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the United Nations, attended the meeting, which aimed to build global support on ways to restore security in the conflict-torn country.

This is not the first attempt by the Afghan government to broker peace.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday hosted the Kabul Process - a multinational peace conference, in which he explained that the objective of the conference was to defeat terrorism and ensure peace.

Afghan authorities have said Pakistan was involved in the attack, charges denied by Islamabad.

Ghani, in his speech, also underscored the urgency of resolving the conflict, saying Taliban-sponsored terrorism is attracting terrorists linked to Syria-based Islamic State to find refuge in Afghanistan.

"We are offering a chance for peace but this is not an open-ended offer", Mr Ghani said, calling for Taliban to begin negotiations.