The Afghan Taliban's cofounder is in talks with the United States in an attempt to bring an end to more than 17 years of war.

It's the US's longest war and last year a record number of people died in Afghanistan. Almost 4,000 civilians were killed and 7,000 wounded.

The UN is blaming the Taliban and The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) for deliberately targeting civilians in suicide attacks. But Afghan and US forces have also stepped up their assaults on armed groups.

Now attempts to end the bloodshed are gathering pace.

The Taliban and the US are in talks in Qatar.

Cofounder of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has met the US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad for the first time.

So could there be a breakthrough?

Presenter: Laura Kyle

Guests:

Mushtaq Rahim -  Analyst in conflict, peace and security issues

Michael Semple - Researcher and former deputy European Union special representative to Afghanistan

Anthony Neal - Advocacy manager at the Norwegian Refugee Council in Afghanistan

Source: Al Jazeera News