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Taliban Halt Talks With U.S.

The Taliban in Afghanistan have suspended talks with the United States, amid word that an American soldier accused of killing civilians has been moved out of the country.

Plans for a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, expected to facilitate negotiations with U.S., have also been put on hold.

The Taliban made no specific reference to the shootings in Kandahar, but expressed frustration with the U.S. changing terms of negotiations reportedly centered on exchanging a captured American soldier for Taliban fighters detained at Guantanamo Bay.

"The shaky, erratic and vague standpoint of the Americans" are "in contradiction with earlier agreed-upon points," according to a statement posted on the Taliban's website.

Meanwhile, angry protests were underway in Qalat, near the site of last week's slaughter of 16 civilians. The Pentagon has reportedly moved the unidentified soldier suspected of the killings to Kuwait.

"We do not have the proper facility in Afghanistan to detain him for longer than he is being held," Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday evening.

by RTT Staff Writer

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