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Afghan Taliban Snub Peace Talks

Mohammad Naim, the official spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Qatar.

The Afghan Taliban say they "reject" peace talks with Afghan authorities.

A Taliban spokesman said in a March 5 statement that the insurgents will not participate in a peace process with Kabul's government unless foreign forces stop attacking their positions and withdraw from Afghanistan.

Direct face-to-face talks were expected to take place in Islamabad next week, a meeting Afghan officials have described as the first concrete step in a peace process aimed at ending the 15-year war.

The Taliban statement accused the United States of inflating its troop numbers and of carrying out air strikes and night raids on residential compounds.

It also said Kabul's forces have escalated their fight against the insurgents.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP