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A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul on Monday, killing at lehave ast 24 people and wounding 40. The officials from the Interior Minstry expected the death toll to rise.

The western part  of Kabul is populated by Shiite Hazaras, an ethnic minority which has been targeted many a times by militants. The attack could have aimed toward the Hazaras.Police cordoned off the area, located near the house of the deputy government Chief Executive Mohammad Mohaqiq.

The latest suicide bombing adds to the gruesome violence in Afghanistan, where at least 1,662 civilians were killed in the first half of the year. It came two weeks after the Islamic State group claimed an attack on a mosque in the capital that killed at least four people.

Kabul has accounted for at least 20 percent of all civilian casualties this year, including at least 150 people killed in a massive truck bomb attack at the end of May, according to United Nations figures.

The Taliban and the ISIS have challenged the security forces and also targeted civilians, loosening the hold of the government over swathes of territory in Afghanistan. No group has thus far taken responsibility of the attack.

The Taliban are fighting the Afghan and foreign forces with a great deal of success. The Afghan National Army, marred with desertions and poor war-fighting capabilities have been unable to hold ground against the Taliban.

Generals Mattis and McMaster are leading the review. Both have more or less outlawed talks with the Taliban and have indicated that the new strategy will apply to Pakistan too.

On Sunday, dozens of Afghan troops were under siege after Taliban fighters overran a district in northern Faryab province, a spokesman for the provincial police said.There was also fighting in Baghlan, Badakhshan, Kunduz, Kandahar, Helmand, and Uruzgan provinces, according to officials.

Read more:Focusing on ISIS: Are we losing sight of a bigger enemy…

Pentagon and Taliban

The resurgence of violence in Afghanistan has compelled the US to redefine its strategy for Afghanistan. The new toolkit which is under deliberation over the past three months has been outsourced to the Pentagon. Generals Mattis and McMaster are leading the review. Both have more or less outlawed talks with the Taliban and have indicated that the new strategy will apply to Pakistan too.

The Taliban are continuing with their drive against the Afghan state and the US forces. They want an end to the presence of foreign troops in Afghan territory as a pre-condition for talks.

The Pentagon may send 4,000 additional soldiers in the country which according to many would not alter the dynamics on the battlefield. However, Mattis also hinted at a changed role for troops or contractors in the country.

Read more:Pakistan based Terror Groups will Target India and Afghanistan, warns US…

While Russia, China and Pakistan have advocated talks with the Taliban, the US has brushed the idea aside. Mattis categorically ruled-out any negotiations with them last month. The Taliban are continuing with their drive against the Afghan state and the US forces. They want an end to the presence of foreign troops in Afghan territory as a pre-condition for talks.

Pakistan have started a military operation in the border areas to forestall ISIS in Pakistan. The group captured the famous Tora Bora mountainsa few weeks ago.

While there is a realization in Washington that Pakistan can use its influence over the Taliban, the US administration has decided to talk tough with Pakistan. It has halted a $350 million payment from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), alleging it of sponsoring the Haqqani Network.

Read more:Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US Joins hands to fight Daesh in…

Pakistan have started a military operation in the border areas to forestall ISIS in Pakistan. The group captured the famous Tora Bora mountains a few weeks ago. The splinter group has challenged the Taliban too. For the very reason, Russia deems inducting Taliban in the peace process as a counter weight to the ISIS. Generals on the battlefields in Afghanistan and those sitting in the Pentagon still consider Taliban as the main threat which they can defeat militarily.

Read more:US Troop surge in Afghanistan: Will it work this time?

The next few weeks may prove to be vital for Afghanistan as the US will most likely announce their new Af-Pak strategy.

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