Two-day peace talks, attended by Afghan delegates and Taliban representatives in the Qatari
capital of Doha, have ended with both sides calling to reduce civilian casualties to "zero" amid
the rising death toll in the war-torn country.
The so-called intra-Afghan dialogue, sponsored by Qatar and Germany, between Afghan
politicians, civil society members, and the Taliban is seen as a substantive step towards peace
in Afghanistan. In a joint statement released at the end of the talks in Doha, the sides also
pledged to guarantee the security of public institutions.
The promises came a day after at least 18 people were killed and more than 180 wounded,
including scores of children, in a car bomb attack claimed by the Taliban.
The gathering was organized in a bid to initiate direct dialogue between the rival sides that
have been at constant war with each other since the US-led invasion in the wake of
September eleventh, 2001 attacks in the US.