Trump Administration

Pompeo Meets With Taliban Delegation in Qatar After Mortar Barrage Kills at Least 8 in Kabul

Pompeo was expected to press for a reduction in violence in his meetings with both Taliban and Afghan government negotiating teams


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with a Taliban delegation hours after mortar shells slammed into different parts of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on Saturday, killing at least eight people.

Fired from two cars, the 23 shells also wounded at least 31 others, Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian told press.

The mortar barrage came as Pompeo was preparing to meet with representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban, who are holding talks in the Arabian Gulf nation of Qatar, though progress has been slow.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told NBC News that the group were not responsible for the early-morning attack, which was later claimed by the ISIS affiliate, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks violent extremist organizations.

The militant group has carried out similar attacks in the past and claimed responsibility for recent assaults in Kabul, including two devastating attacks on educational institutions that killed more than 50 people, many of them students.

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