Afghanistan blast: Seven killed, 15 injured in explosion outside mosque in Herat

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

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

The death toll in the May 31 bomb attack in the Afghan capital has risen to 150, President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday at the start of an global security conference in Kabul.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Cornelius Zimmerman, NATO's senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, expressed his full support for the peace process.

One of the most bloody weeks in Kabul for months began with the devastating truck bomb attack in the city's diplomatic zone on May 31, killing more than 80 people and wounded at least 460.

Previous worldwide efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table have failed, but diplomats in Kabul hailed Tuesday's conference as a stepping stone to peace.

No diplomats died but more than 150 people, a lot of them civilians, were killed and hundreds wounded.

"In the presence of invaders, peace negotiations will mean nothing", Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters. This is the last chance, take it or face consequences.

In the last two years, 11,000 foreign fighters have arrived in Afghanistan to fight for Islamic State, he said, while more than 75,000 Afghans have been killed or wounded in 2015 and 2016.

The militants have said no talks are possible until all foreign troops leave.

However, one of the main stakeholders in the war - the Afghan Taliban - is not present at the conference that hopes to achieve a lasting peace process with the armed group. But without USA leadership, which has "owned" Afghanistan since 11 September 2001, there is little that other states can do or would even be willing to do.

The past 15 years of Taliban insurgency, mixed with government failure to ensure good governance, have created various power centers and interest groups. Lieutenant General McMaster condemned the terrorist attacks in the strongest terms and noted that the United States stands in solidarity with the Afghan government and people.

U.S. President Donald Trump is now mulling whether to deploy as many as 5,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to bolster the 8,400 U.S. servicemen.

U.S. Charge d'Affaires Hugo Llorens, who is overseeing the American embassy as no new ambassador has been nominated by Trump, said the conference was a chance to send the message that "the enemies of Afghanistan can not win".

The Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said on Thursday that early findings showed the Haqqani network with the assistance of Pakistan's ISI carried out the attack in Kabul that killed at least 90 people.

"The Kabul administration wants peace talks only for the Taliban to surrender but this fake process will never succeed", said Zabihullah Mujahid in a statement sent to media, including VOA.

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