KABUL, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants fighting the Afghan government and NATO-led forces stationed in Afghanistan have downplayed a U.S. call to give up fighting and initiate dialogue with the Afghan government to end the protracted conflict in the war-hit country.
"Following the successive attacks on invading forces and killing several ranking officials of the American allied nations in a suicide attack in a restaurant in Kabul on Friday, the U.S. has called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (name of Taliban ousted regime) to lay down arms and begin talks with Kabul puppet administration," a Taliban statement posted on its website said.
"We utterly reject the demand of America," Taliban said in the statement.
A suicide attack on a Lebanese restaurant in the fortified part of Kabul on Friday evening left three attackers and 21 more people including 13 civilian foreigners dead. Taliban outfit claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, vowing to launch more offensives.
"If America wants peace in Afghanistan it should withdraw all its forces from the country, leaving Afghans to decide their future," the Taliban statement further said.
The White House, according to media reports on Saturday, called on Taliban militants to lay down arms and begin peace talks with the Afghan government.
Taliban had in the past also rejected the offer for talks, saying there will be no dialogue in the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan.
"Taliban won't lay down arms unless all the invaders leave the country and Islamic rule restored," Zabihullah Mujahid, the purported spokesman of the adamant Taliban outfit, said in the statement.