The Latest: Ex-Afghan warlord open to constitution changes - InfoNews

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The Latest: Ex-Afghan warlord open to constitution changes

February 05, 2019 - 11:06 AM

KABUL - The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

A powerful former Afghan warlord has said on the sidelines of peace talks with the Taliban in Moscow that he is open to constitutional changes that the movement may be seeking.

Atta Mohammad Nur, a former warlord and governor and President Ashraf Ghani's staunch opponent, tells The Associated Press that Taliban representatives are likely to voice their "vision" on the Afghan constitution and that he is open to their ideas.

Nur, who wields considerable influence in the country, said even though the constitution "belongs to the people ... it doesn't mean it can't be revised."

The two-day meeting in the Russian capital kicked off Tuesday. It has brought together Taliban representatives and prominent Afghan figures. The talks, however, have sidelined Ghani and his government.

Nur said the talks, which stretched into late evening on Tuesday, will continue on Wednesday and possibly even on Thursday.

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5:45 p.m.

Representatives of the Taliban and prominent Afghan figures including a former president are meeting in Moscow for two days of talks.

The meeting that kicked off in the Russian capital on Tuesday has been seen as another step in a process aimed at resolving Afghanistan's 17-year war, one that has accelerated since the appointment of U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad last year.

The meeting brings together Taliban representatives and Afghan figures including former President Hamid Karzai, opposition leaders and tribal elders — but not Kabul government officials.

The meeting has sidelined Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government, which has criticized the gathering.

The talks opened as at least 21 people were killed in the latest Taliban attacks in several locations across the country.

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4:15 p.m.

An Afghan official says a pre-dawn Taliban attack on an army base in northern Kunduz province has killed at least 26 members of the country's security forces.

Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, head of the provincial council, says there are at least 23 soldiers and three members of the local police force among those slain in the attack early on Tuesday.

Ayubi says 12 troops were also wounded and that the Taliban onslaught at the base on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz city, lasted for over two hours.

He says the attackers were repelled after reinforcements arrived at the besieged base.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Kunduz attack. He says insurgents overran three police checkpoints as the attack unfolded.

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11:20 a.m.

Afghan officials say 21 people have been killed in the latest Taliban attacks in the country, including 11 policemen who were slain when the insurgents stormed a checkpoint in northern Baghlan province.

Safder Mohsini, head of the provincial council, says the checkpoint attack late on Monday night in Baghlan's district of Baghlani Markazi also wounded five local policemen. He says the Taliban made away with all the weapons and ammunition from the security post.

In northern Samangan province, the Taliban targeted a local pro-government militia, killing 10 people there, including a woman.

Sediq Azizi, spokesman for the provincial governor, says four people were also wounded in that attack on Monday morning in Samangan's Dara-I Suf district.

The Taliban have claimed both attacks. Insurgents carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan forces.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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