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ISLAMABAD – Taliban has rejected reports of secret meetings with Afghan government officials, insisting there has been no change in the group’s policy for holding peace negotiations.

The Guardian newspaper, in an exclusive article published Tuesday, quoted anonymous Afghan officials and sources within the Taliban as confirming at least two interactions between the warring sides in September and early October. It said the meetings took place in Doha, capital of the Gulf state of Qatar, where Taliban political negotiators are based.

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The paper also said the talks were attended by Mullah Abdull Manan Akhund, brother of Taliban founder and long-time leader Mullah Omar who died in 2013.

A senior American diplomat was also present in the Qatar meetings, the newspaper said citing a Taliban official.