Taliban raises hopes of Afghan peace talks

THE Taliban’s reclusive leader has said his group is willing to start peace negotiations.

In an emailed message, Mullah Mohammad Omar blamed the US and the Afghan government for the derailment of talks two months ago.

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In a message issued ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the one-eyed chief of the Afghan insurgency urged the army and police turn their guns on foreign forces, government officials and the Afghan troops who are co-operating with the US-led coalition forces.

The Taliban’s long-standing policy is to continue attacks even as it pursues negotiations.