A school becomes a home amid Afghanistan violence

In Afghanistan's northern Takhar province, a classroom has become a home.

Around 12,000 families have been uprooted in a recent escalation of fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban.

On Saturday (July 17), negotiators for both sides were meeting in Doha and calling for peace.

At the same time, in Takhar's provincial capital, Mohamed Amin was among those now housed in a high school.

"We were not helped or even given a carpet. Not even a dog can live here, and if we do not have to, we will not stay here for a day. You see our situation for yourself."

Two decades of conflict have taken a turn for the worse as U.S.-led international forces withdraw and the Taliban launches offensives around Afghanistan.

It's taken districts and border crossings while encircling provincial capitals.

The U.N. 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.

Negotiators have been meeting in Doha since last September.

But they've failed to make substantive progress with time running out before the foreign troops' full exit by September 11.

On Saturday the Taliban's deputy leader and negotiator Abdul Ghani Baradar regretted the lack of progress - but said there should still be hope and that the Taliban will make efforts to achieve a positive outcome from the talks.

Abdullah Abdullah, head of the government's High Council for National Reconciliation, said: "We cannot pay the price for this in blood and we cannot escape responsibility for it."

The two men were speaking at the start of new high-level talks, which are intended to last for two days.

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