2 policemen killed in S. Afghan vehicle bombing

Afghanistan: At least 10 security personnel killed in insurgent attack in Farah province

Militants attacked a security checkpoint in Farah Province early on March 14, killing at least eight security forces and wounding a number of others, according to provincial council members.

At least six Afghan border policemen were killed in a auto explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Wednesday, local officials confirmed.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Roland Kobia said the European Union was not in contact with the Taliban and urged those countries that were, including China, to talk to certain Taliban groups and mediate in the conflict, Efe reported.

Abdul Samad Salehi, a member of the Farah provincial council, said four of those killed in today's attack were from the intelligence service and six were police.

Mattis, a retired Marine general who commanded U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan in the opening weeks of the war in 2001, said getting the Taliban to reconcile en masse may be "a bridge too far".

In Helmand Province, a suicide truck bomb struck a checkpoint, killing at least two border police officers, said provincial police chief General Abdul Ghafar Safi. He said another three police were wounded in the blast.

"The adoption of the South Asia strategy with a conditions-based military plan as the tool to compel the Taliban to reconciliation and peace talks with the Afghan government finally equipped our military planners with a strategy which they can execute, as opposed to a succession of 16 one-year strategies", said Tillerson.

But Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered talks without preconditions with the Taliban insurgents last month, in what was seen by USA officials as a major overture from Kabul.

However, the Taliban appears likely to miss that conference and have ruled out direct talks with the Western-backed government in Kabul, which they say is an illegitimate, foreign-imposed regime.

Acceptance, on the other hand, would undermine the group's long-held position that the Afghan government is a puppet of the United States and risk damaging its own credibility among its fighters. "That may be a bridge too far to expect", Mattis said.

But security experts say the proposal has placed the Taliban , Afghanistan's largest militant group, in a bind. The Taliban also says that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces must withdraw before negotiations can begin.

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