An assassin apparently armed with a silenced pistol has killed one of the top members of the Afghan peace council today, doing serious damage to the efforts by the Afghan government to engage in reconciliation talks with the Taliban.
The attack happened at a traffic intersection in the capital city of Kabul. The negotiator, Arsala Rahmani, was struck with the only shot fired, and died on his way to the hospital. No group has claimed responsibility, and the Taliban denied ordering the killing.
This is the second time in less than a year that a major member of the peace council has been assassinated. In September, former Afghan President Rabbani was killed by a suicide bomber posing as a negotiator for the Taliban.
US Ambassador Ryan Crocker termed Rahamni’s killing a “loss” but insisted that it had only solidified the determination of Afghan officials to continue the war to an eventual victory. A number of other US officials made it clear they believe the Taliban did kill him, despite their denial.
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