KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Mortar shells have slammed into a residential area of the Afghan capital, killing eight people, hours before outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held what are likely his last meetings with the Taliban and Afghan negotiators trying to hammer out a peace deal.
The Saturday attack in Kabul, claimed by Islamic State militants, also injured 31 people.
The assault came as peace talks were underway in Qatar, where Pompeo told Afghan government negotiators that the U.S. will “sit on the side and help where we can” in the negotiations with Taliban militants.
Two Taliban officials told AP the sides have found common ground to move forward the stalled talks.
Meanwhile, the U.S. flew long-range, nuclear-capable B-52H bombers, underlining America’s continuing presence in the region.