United Nations envoy urges Taliban to respond to Afghan government offer

US drone strike targeting Taliban kills 21 in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Afghan capital on Friday, killing atleast seven people in an attack on a crowd gathered to commemorate a political leader from the mainly Shi'ite Hazara minority, officials said.

Last December, dozens were killed in an attack on a Shia cultural center claimed by the Daesh Takfiri terror group, which has been growing in size and expanding its operations in the country over the past two years.

Amin said the bomber detonated his explosive device at a checkpoint "after being identified by police".

Local Hazara leader Mohammad Mohaqiq told the Kabul gathering that the explosion was an attempt to terrorize Afghans.

One policeman and six civilians were killed; 15 civilians wounded.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at an global conference in Kabul last week unveiled a plan to open talks with the Taliban, including eventually recognising them as a political party.

In a statement on Friday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the deadly terrorist attack on people in Kabul, expressing condolences to the Afghan government, nation, and families of victims of the "blind crime".

The death toll has risen to nine, Waheed Majroh, spokesman for the Health Ministry said. Mujahid claimed the Taliban had inflicted a far higher number of casualties, but the insurgents often exaggerate their claims.

Alice Wells, a USA principal deputy assistant secretary of state in charge of South and Central Asian affairs, said Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's offer of talks with the Taliban without any preconditions was the "most specific and forward-leaning proposal" for peace since the US -led invasion in 2001.

In central Ghazni province, the Taliban attacked a police security post late Thursday, killing four policemen, said Arif Noori, a spokesman for the Ghazni provincial governor.

The report couldn't be independently confirmed because of the area's remoteness.

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