Afghanistan is recalling its ambassador to Qatar for consultations amid reports that the Taliban are planning to open an office in the tiny, gas-rich Gulf state.
The Afghan Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the government has decided to recall Khalid Ahmad Zakaria from the Qatari capital of Doha for consultations.
The ministry did not give a reason for recalling Zakaria, but said Kabul values ties with Qatar and that diplomatic communications would continue.
An Indian newspaper quoted Indian diplomatic sources on Wednesday as saying that work was being finalized on a Taliban office.
The Afghan Foreign Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ A roadside bombing has killed a local government official who was prominent in battling drug smuggling and two of his bodyguards in southern Afghanistan.
A spokesman for Helmand province, Daoud Ahmadi, says the Reg district chief was returning from a visit to a neighboring district when his vehicle struck the bomb.
The chief, Massoud Khan, had been meeting tribal elders and other officials of the Dishu district on efforts to curb drug trafficking,
Ahmadi says Wednesday's blast also wounded three other bodyguards who were traveling with Khan.