Last chance for peace, Ashraf Ghani warns Taliban

Afghan policemen inspects at the site of a blast in Herat Afghanistan

Ghani reiterated on Tuesday that he wants peace talks with the Taliban, but said that it wasn't an "open-ended" opportunity.

At least 16 other people were injured in the blast.

As it got under way a rocket struck a tennis court in the Indian diplomatic compound. "Time is running out. this is the last chance, take it or face consequences", Ghani said at the global peace conference in Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, center, and delegates stand for the national anthem during the so-called Kabul Process conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, June 6, 2017. His government has claimed that the suicide bombers who attacked a funeral attended by high-level government officials Saturday were financed and trained in Pakistan, charges that Pakistan has denied.

A truck bomb that struck the heart of the Afghan capital last week killed more than 150 people, the country's President Ashraf Ghani said Monday, making it one of the deadliest single attacks in the country since the 2001 USA -led invasion.

The Taliban has steadily expanded its reach since U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014 and transitioned to a support and counterterrorism role.

This comes after the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Monday said the explosives used in Wednesday's deadly truck bombing near Kabul's Zanbaq Square were from Pakistan.

Ghani said at the conference that if the Taliban did not begin negotiations soon, he would seek new sanctions against the group as a sponsor of terrorism. He said that up to 11,000 foreign militants had allegedly arrived in Afghanistan in the last two years to fight for Daesh.

While emphasising that Afghanistan wanted to build strong economic and political ties with all its neighbours, he came down heavily on Islamabad for launching an "undeclared war" on Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the Taliban said he was not prepared to make immediate comment on the conference.

After almost 16 years, and some $1 trillion, now a billion dollars a week in US aid and 2,350 dead Americans, it seems time for Trump, a real estate man by background, to stop putting into Afghanistan good money after bad.

The success or failure of today's peace conference could prove a bellwether for the Trump administration's yet-to-be-announced Afghanistan strategy.

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