In Afghanistan, the Taliban are believed to be preparing to establish a new government by holding talks with key negotiators.
The militants have been tightening their grip on the country, having gained control of the capital, Kabul, and most provinces.
Against this backdrop, local media reported on Wednesday that senior Taliban members led by Anas Haqqani met Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the Afghan High Council for National Reconciliation.
Abdullah led the peace process under the administration led by President Ashraf Ghani, who has fled the country.
Haqqani is a brother of the leader of the hard-line Haqqani Network, blamed for a series of terrorist attacks.
Haqqani also reportedly met former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The two sides are believed to have discussed forming a new Taliban-led government, and how members of the ousted administration could be part of the scheme.
Meanwhile, Taliban fighters fired at protesters in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar Province, on Wednesday.
Local police told NHK that participants carried the national flag in apparent opposition to the Taliban flag.
Reuters quoted multiple eyewitnesses as saying the shooting left at least three people dead and more than 10 others wounded.