In May 2018, seven Indians engineers working with Indian power company KEC International were abducted by the Taliban in the Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan. In March this year, one of the kidnapped engineers returned safely to India.
Seven Indian engineers working for a power plant in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan Province were kidnapped in May 2018.
One of the hostages was released in March, but the fate of the others remained unknown.
The Taliban delegation led by Mullah Baradar - one of its more powerful members - arrived separately in the Pakistani capital for meetings with government officials they said were being held to discuss a wide range of political issues.
More than 9.6 million Afghans in the country — with an estimated population of 35 million — had registered for the election, according to the Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC). About a third of those registered are women.
18 years later, after the US spent nearly $900 billion and more than 147,000 people died, the Taliban are growing more confident of returning to power. The militant group controls or contests half of the country, more territory than any time since they were toppled in 2001.
Since January, there has been a steady spike in attacks as the Taliban have leveraged violence to buttress their bargaining position, and tried to take control of as much territory as they could before the agreement with the US was finalised.
Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said another 42 people were wounded and 12 vehicles destroyed. Hours later, the Taliban set off a car bomb outside an Afghan military base in a neighboring province, killing four civilians.
The explosion came as a senior US diplomat was visiting Kabul to brief Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on a draft peace accord reached with the insurgents that could see thousands of US troops withdrawn from Afghanistan.
The militants, who have demanded that all foreign forces leave Afghanistan, now control or hold sway over roughly half of the country and are at their strongest since their 2001 defeat by a US-led invasion.