US finds IS marks on Afghan attacks

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Foreign Desk Report

WASHINGTON: US Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said on Thursdays that the Islamic State (IS) had conducted two deadly attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week, which killed more than 50 civilians.
“ The USG has assessed ISIS-K conducted the horrific attacks on a maternity ward and a funeral earlier this week in Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said on his twitter, adding that the terrorist group opposes a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
An attack on a maternal hospital in the capital Kabul killed 24 civilians and injured 16 others on Tuesday, while a suicide bomb explosion targeting a funeral in eastern Nangarhar province killed 32 people and wounded 103 others.
The Taliban said they were not behind the twin attacks. However, after the attacks, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani ordered national security forces to "end active defense position" and resume offensives on militant groups including the Taliban.
Violence still lingered in the war-torn country after a peace deal was signed between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar late February, which paved the way for a phased U.S. force withdrawal.
The agreement faces challenges as the intra-Afghan dialogue that had been scheduled to begin on March 10 could not start due to differences over the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.