Last chance for peace, Afghan president warns Taliban


"Over 150 innocent Afghan sons and daughters were killed and more than 300 wounded were brought to hospitals with burns and amputations", Ghani said.

Afghanistan's president says the death toll from last week's massive suicide truck bombing in Kabul has surpassed 150, making it the deadliest single attack in the 16 years since the USA invaded to topple the Taliban.

Armoured vehicles patrolled the streets as part of tight security and fighter jets roared over the capital.

An Afghan official has raised the casualty estimates from a string of explosions in Kabul to six people dead.

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Exposing the split within the fractious government Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani also called for Atmar's dismissal on Monday, but the demand was turned down by President Ashraf Ghani.

At least seven persons were killed as violence broke out in Afghanistan's capital on Friday after hundreds of protestors gathered near the site of this week's auto bomb attack to demand the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani's government.

As of late previous year, the Taliban contested or controlled about 40 percent of the country, according to USA government estimates, leading some observers to doubt the group would be willing to negotiate any time soon.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi has urged the Afghan government to focus on overcoming the deteriorating situation in the war-torn country instead of blaming Islamabad for every incident.

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The Afghan leader told an worldwide peace conference in the capital on Tuesday that the attack, which took place at a highly fortified area of the capital, targeted "the entire diplomatic community".

He said the government was committed to fighting terrorism but that it wants to build strong political and economic ties with all neighboring countries. A U.S. watchdog said last month that a record number of civilians died in 2016, 16 years after then-U.S. President George W. Bush first sent special forces to the country after the September 11 attacks to topple the Taliban regime which sheltered al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

Afghanistan accuses elements in Pakistan, anxious about old rival India gaining influence in Afghanistan, of providing support for militant groups like the Taliban, an accusation Pakistan denies.

But some analysts were sceptical that the Kabul Process meetings would lead to peace talks.

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