'Baseless claim': Taliban denies US general’s statement on secret Afghan peace talks

The Taliban say they “categorically reject” a statement made by the US commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan about secret talks taking place between the Kabul government and the insurgents. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement, distributed to the media on Friday, that Gen. John Nicholson’s remarks, made to reporters at the Pentagon from his Kabul office, were a “baseless claim,” AP reports. Nicholson said Wednesday that “mid-level, senior-level Taliban leaders” are “engaging with Afghans.” Mujahid says that the US general “is making such fabricated statements to divert attention from his failures and keep the Washington media busy with false claims instead of exposing the failed Trump [administration’s] strategy” in Afghanistan.