Kabul Blast Kills One Croatian Soldier, Wounds 2 Others

Officials in Afghanistan say a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-packed vehicle into a NATO military convoy in Kabul Wednesday, killing one Croatian soldier and wounding two others.

The early morning attack occurred near a military base on the northern outskirts of the Afghan capital.

Croatian officials initially said three soldiers were wounded but later said one of them died after suffering serious head injuries.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Meanwhile, the insurgent group captured Keran Wa Manjan district in northeastern Badakhshan province bordering Pakistan, Tajikistan and China.

A provincial government spokesman, Nek Mohammad Nazari, told VOA the Taliban overran the district after week-long fighting. The insurgent group claimed about 40 Afghan security personnel surrendered the Taliban during the course of fighting.

The Taliban continues to inflict hundreds of casualties on pro-government forces and has captured new territory during the current fighting season amid ongoing negotiations with the United States for a political settlement to the 18-year-old war.

U.S. chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad has arrived in the region for a new round of talks with insurgent interlocutors in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. The two adversaries are said to have come closer to signing an agreement in the nearly year-long dialogue.

The deal, if approved, would require Washington to announce a timetable for American troops to leave Afghanistan in exchange for assurances the Taliban will not allow transnational terrorists to use insurgent-controlled areas for international terrorism. The insurgents, under the deal, will immediately engage in intra-Afghan negotiations to discuss a permanent cease-fire and an inclusive governing system.



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