ISIS in Afghanistan (Twitter)

In the aftermath of the ISIS suicide bombing at a wedding reception on in Afghanistan that left 63 people dead on Saturday night, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani marked the nation's 100th independence celebration with a solemn vow to "eliminate" the terror group's strongholds across the country.

"We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood," Ghani declared. "Our struggle will continue against (ISIS), we will take revenge and will root them out."

That might prove difficult. Six month after President Donald Trump declared victory over the ISIS "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, the terror group continues to mount a bloody comeback across the Middle East — and Afghanistan is no exception.

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QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.

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(Associated Press/Rahmat Gul)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The U.S. peace envoy seeking to negotiate an end to the nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan said Washington was ready to sign a "good agreement" with the Taliban.

Zalmay Khalilzad's remarks came as U.S. and Taliban negotiators met on August 3 in the Qatari capital Doha for an eighth round of peace talks.

A bilateral U.S.-Taliban agreement will cover the withdrawal of foreign forces in exchange for guarantees by the Taliban not to harbor terrorist groups.

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KABUL (Reuters) - A powerful explosion hit central Kabul on Sunday, wounding Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's running mate on the first day of official campaigning for a presidential election and killing at least two others, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came before an expected resumption of peace talks between Taliban insurgents and U.S. diplomats in coming days.

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In a not-so-veiled threat to the Taliban, President Donald Trump argued on Monday the United States has the capacity to bring a swift end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan, but he is seeking a different solution to avoid killing "10 million people."

"I have plans on Afghanistan that if I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth," Trump said on Monday at the White House. "It would be gone. It would be over in – literally in 10 days. And I don't want to do that. I don't want to go that route."

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Showing just how far removed the war is from life at home, none of the Senators who questioned Army Secretary Mark Esper during his nearly three-hour confirmation hearing to become defense secretary asked about Afghanistan.

While Afghanistan was mentioned twice in passing, Esper did not face direct questions about the U.S. government's strategy of fighting the Taliban while simultaneously negotiating a peace settlement with them.

A total of 12 service members and at least two U.S. contractors have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2019.

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