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Helicopter Crash, Bomb Explosion And Political Scandal: Afghan Talks Begin In Moscow

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At least three people were killed and eleven others injured when a roadside bomb explosion struck a bus carrying public officials to Kabul on March 18, officials said. A spokesman for the Afghan capital police confirmed the report, without giving further details. An official said the bus was carrying public officials. According to some claims, there were employees of the Ministry of Information and Technology.

Helicopter Crash, Bomb Explosion And Political Scandal: Afghan Talks Begin In Moscow

Source: AP Photos

Helicopter Crash, Bomb Explosion And Political Scandal: Afghan Talks Begin In Moscow

Source: AP Photos

The same day, a Mi-17 helicopter of the Afghan Armed Forces crashed in the Wardak province in the central part of the country. According to Afghan Defense Ministry, the incident claimed lives of nine people: the pilot, three crew members and five soldiers of special forces. The crashed helicopter was one of four on a mission to transfer ammunition, food and troops to Behsud district.

According to some claims the helicopter was shot down by militants. This information has not been officially confirmed.

Helicopter Crash, Bomb Explosion And Political Scandal: Afghan Talks Begin In Moscow

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The incidents occurred  at a time when the negotiations on the situation in Afghanistan started in Moscow. On March 18, representatives of Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan, as well as representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban, meet in Moscow to discuss the peace process.

The Moscow international conference was marked by a political scandal. After India, which has strategic interests in Afghanistan, was not invited to the negotiations, the leading Indian media called for a reassessment of relations with Russia, which has the status of an Indian “privileged strategic partner.” In turn, the United States initiated India’s participation in another forum on Afghanistan – a conference scheduled for March 27 in Istanbul.

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