KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban militants who have been waging war on the Afghan government for more than a decade on Monday expressed a willingness to soften their position on a range of issues, an apparent shift that could eventually lead to peace talks.
But despite those positive signs following two days of informal talks in Qatar, a wave of Taliban attacks targeting police checkpoints late Sunday night in the remote Afghan province of Badakhshan, killed at least 16 policemen. The insurgents said in a statement to media that the assaults were part of their annual spring offensive, which began late last month.
And on Monday morning, a Taliban suicide bomber struck a bus carrying government workers in the capital, Kabul, killing one person and wounding 13. The Taliban also claimed responsibility for that bombing.
The attacks underscored just how elusive peace is after decades of war in this Central Asian country.
During the informal discussions between Afghan government representatives and those of the Taliban in Qatar, both sides emphasized that peace talks were not on the agenda.