Taliban car bomb kills 14 amid peace talks

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Security was tight at the luxury hotel hosting the intra-Afghan summit as around 70 delegates, who were required to surrender their phones, filed into the hall.

The State of Qatar and Germany hope that this conference will contribute to building trust between the main parties representing the vast majority of the people and Afghan society, in order to support peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region in general.

He said that Afghanistan wants and deserves peace, a peace that protects the rights of all Afghan citizens, especially women and minorities, and that leaves the region and the world more secure.

"Each of you will have a unique opportunity and a unique responsibility to find ways of turning violent confrontation into a peaceful debate", he said as he opened the gathering.

The US peace envoy to Afghanistan says he can for the first time report "substantive" progress on all four issues key to a peace agreement in the country's 17-year war.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Twitter that he looked "forward to a constructive dialogue".

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the July 7 attack that comes as representatives of the militant group are taking part in a two-day all-Afghan peace conference in Doha.

The scholars were asked to encourage Afghan men to bring their daughters and wives to her Kabul-based foundation, called Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organization, where Afghani provided free education to women and young girls.

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In a visit to the Afghan capital late last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said September 1 was the target date for a peace deal to end America's longest running military engagement.

In a tweet on Saturday, U.S envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been holding peace talks with the Taliban to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan since last year, said the latest round of discussions were the "most productive session" to date.

The insurgents, however, have consistently said they will sit down with any Afghan, even a government official, but as an ordinary citizen and not as a government representative.

Meanwhile, the Taliban are also holding talks with the U.S. in Qatar.

Sunday and Monday's gathering is the third such meeting following landmark summits in Moscow in February and May.

Khalilzad told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan after the conclusion of the July 7 meeting that US and Taliban negotiators were now closer to reaching an agreement on four key issues. But the thorny issues of power-sharing with the Taliban, the role of regional powers including Pakistan and India, and the fate of Ghani s administration remain unresolved.

Observers have criticised the U.S. for allowing its own talks with the Taliban to proceed without the formal participation of the Afghan government, which the Taliban label Washington's puppet.

A vehicle bomb in central Afghanistan has killed at least eight members of the security forces and four civilians and wounded dozens, many of them students attending a nearby school.