Foreign missions call for Taliban ceasefire

Fifteen diplomatic missions in Afghanistan, as well as a NATO representative, called for a ceasefire with the Taliban on Monday.

It comes just hours after a peace meeting in Doha failed to agree on a ceasefire.

Afghan leaders met the Taliban's political leadership in the Qatari capital over the last two days, but a Taliban statement late on Sunday made no mention of a halt to rising violence.

Australia, Canada, the EU and Germany were among those calling for the Taliban to halt offenses.

The Taliban has made sweeping gains as the U.S has withdrawn troops. They have captured several districts and border crossings in the north and west.

The statement also condemned rights violations, such as efforts to shut schools and media organisations in areas recently captured by the Taliban, which has previously denied such allegations.

The U.N. refugee agency estimates 270,000 Afghans have been displaced inside the country since January, bringing the number of people forced from their homes to more than 3.5 million.