Taliban says it pulls out of peace talks after refusing to release U.S. professor

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The Afghan Taliban last week stalled peace talks with the U.S.after the American delegation demanded the militant group announce a ceasefire and release a U.S. academic it is holding, four senior Taliban officials told NBC News.

A Taliban commander in Afghanistan’s Helmand province said U.S. negotiators had “asked us to first release the American professor whom we kidnapped after an attack on American University in Kabul.”

Like other militants NBC News interviewed, he spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to comment on negotiations.

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