Kabul bombing casts shadow on June 6 conference, NYT Report

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WASHINGTON, June 2 (APP): One of the deadliest bomb attacks in Kabul
that killed at least 90 people has cast a shadow over a proposed international conference on security slated for next week, though Afghan government officials suggested it will go as planned, a New York Times report said on Thursday.
Senior representatives from nearly two dozen countries were to gather in
Kabul on June 6 for the conference to discuss reconciliation and security in the warn-torn country that President Ashraf Ghani would have used to emphasize commitment to find a negotiate settlement to the decades-old conflict.
But, the bombing has ‘cast a shadow over the efforts in several ways,’
the report said. And, while the Taliban had denied the involvement in the bombing, the report quoting Abdul Hakim Mujahid, a member of the Afghan government’s High Peace Council, hinted the attack had made further complicated an already difficult task.
“There are movements underway about peace and the making of a peace
deal, but I am not hopeful about the current situation,” Mujahid was quoted as saying by the report.
But, the report quoted unnamed aides to President Ghani as saying that
he was determined to go ahead with the conference, even if some of the foreign dignitaries choose to attend it via video conference. There were efforts on Thursday by Afghan officials and diplomats to push for meeting to be held as scheduled.
While some Western officials, according to the report, were saying the
meeting was on schedule, several expressed concern about the safety of their dignitaries from their capitals to visit.
Wednesday’s blast caused massive damage to the extent that even some of
the embassies were not in a shape to host meeting for their own dignitaries.
The report said that the UAE embassy, whose ambassador and diplomats
were killed in another blast in Kandahar early this year, flew their staff out of the country hours after the bombing.
German embassy was also badly damaged and diplomats had to evacuate the
facilities while some staff from the Turkish mission would also be evacuating temporarily. The Iranian Embassy was also badly damaged.
Meanwhile, local Afghan news media reported that President Ghani had
signed the order to execute 11 Taliban in custody. Taliban have threated to attack ‘all offices of the Kabul administration’ if the order was carried out.