Insurgents kill 13 Afghan forces in separate attacks

The Afghan security forces have foiled a suicide attack plot on a Non-governmental Organization in capital Kabul

The Afghan security forces have foiled a suicide attack plot on a Non-governmental Organization in capital Kabul

A roadside bomb has killed at least nine Afghan soldiers during an ongoing military operation in Afghanistan's northern Balkh Province.

Russia, which until 2015 had offered support to USA -led forces fighting the Taliban by letting military equipment transit its territory, has "practically cut itself off from the coalition", Omar Nessar, head of the Moscow-based Center for Contemporary Afghan Studies, said.

Earlier, the United States military said that an American soldier was killed in combat operations against Isis in eastern Nangarhar province.

"We have asked for reinforcements as well as air support to battle the IS militants there", he said.

Taliban militants have occupied a number of districts across the country, and are intensifying their attacks as weather conditions get better.

Already, disagreements have emerged as the USA has opted to stay away from the forthcoming peace conference on Afghanistan being hosted by Russian Federation in Moscow on April 14. "I think it is fair to assume [Russia] may be providing some sort of support to [the Taliban], in terms of weapons or other things that may be there", U.S. Central Command chief General Joseph Votel told members of Congress on March 29.

"We know that actions by Russian Federation in Afghanistan are meant to undermine the work of the United States and NATO to support the Afghan government", said Capt. William Salvin, spokesman for the USA -led North Atlantic Treaty Organization coalition in Afghanistan. He added that Russians were serving as "creative minds and strategists for the Taliban" at a kind of academy in Iran.

Pakistan believes Russian Federation is "positively" using its influence with the Taliban to encourage them to join peace talks and Islamabad is supportive of any such efforts, Fatemi insisted.

Meanwhile, Office of Abdullah Abdullah, the CEO of the National Unity Government, expressed hope that the upcoming talks in Moscow would help get the peace talks back on track.

Moscow is expected to host the next conference on Afghan peace negotiations on Friday. But the USA administration has already refused to take part in the conference, questioning Russian intentions and motives.

Tayyab Agha, head of the Taliban's political wing, assured Moscow that the militants would not create problems for Russian Federation in Central Asia, Muzhda said.

"When we had increasing contacts with the Taliban, Russia was very suspicious, and now that they are, we don't like it", said Barnett Rubin, a former State Department official in Afghanistan during the Obama administration who is now at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.

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