Top US general in Mideast in Kabul to discuss peace process with Afghan president

KABUL, Afghanistan — A statement from the Afghan president’s office said commander of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, was in Kabul on Tuesday.

McKenzie met with President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the Afghan peace process and he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to peace and stability in the country, the statement said.

McKenzie also said the U.S. will not let the country become a save haven for insurgent groups again, the statement said.

American soldiers patrol on the M4 highway in the town of Tal Tamr in the northeastern Syrian Hasakeh province on the border with Turkey on Jan. 24, 2020. (Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, a roadside bombing killed four civilians and wounded four others on Tuesday in eastern Kabul, Afghan officials said.

The eight were riding in a packed car in the district of Surobi when the vehicle hit the roadside bomb, setting it off, said Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramarz. He added that the incident is under investigation.

The local governor, Gohar Khan Baburi, gave a slightly higher death toll, saying the bomb killed five people, including a 13-year-old boy, and wounded 11. The different casualty tolls could not immediately be reconciled.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing but the district official blamed the Taliban, claiming they had placed the bomb to target a military convoy.

Afghan National Army trainees stand while waiting to be greeted by Afghan Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid, Deputy Defense Minister Dr. Yasin Zia and Resolute Support Commander Gen. Scott Miller in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 5, 2020. (Spc. Jeffery J. Harris/Army)

Also on Tuesday, three civilians and an intelligence officer traveling in a car were wounded in southern Kandahar province when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.

The Taliban have stepped up attacks across Afghanistan, including in Kabul, targeting Afghan forces. The surge comes despite the insurgents’ signing of a peace deal with the U.S. in February in Qatar. That deal was intended to pave the way for an end to decades of war in the country.

On Monday, the Taliban launched a complex attack on an intelligence compound in northern Afghanistan that began with a suicide bombing and was followed by hourslong clashes. At least 11 members of the intelligence agency were killed and 63 people were wounded, including civilians.

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