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The first officially acknowledged peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the government in Kabul concluded with an agreement to meet again after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Pakistan said on Wednesday. Pakistan hosted the meeting in a tentative step towards ending more than 13 years of war in Afghanistan, in which the Taliban have been fighting the government in hopes of re-establishing their hard-line Islamist regime that was toppled by the U.S.-sponsored military intervention in 2001. Officials from the United States and China were observers in the first official talks held on Tuesday at Murree, a hill resort on the outskirts of Islamabad, a statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry said.
The high-profile trial of two Myanmar migrants charged with killing two British holidaymakers opened Wednesday on the holiday island of Koh Samui, in a grim case that has tarnished Thailand's reputation as a tourist haven. Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun have pleaded not guilty to the murder of 24-year-old David Miller and the rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge, 23, on the southern island of Koh Tao in September. The two men, who have been in custody on neighbouring Koh Samui since October, arrived at court in a prison van with their feet shackled.