The Taliban are denying reports that their representatives met with a U.N. official to discuss prospects for peace in Afghanistan.
A statement by the Taliban ruling council Saturday said reports of a meeting between the U.N.'s Afghanistan chief, Kai Eide, and representatives of the militants were "futile and baseless rumors."
Eide has not publicly acknowledged such a meeting but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the official wanted to "get his own conclusion about the mindset of some of the Taliban members."
The Taliban statement vows to continue the war in Afghanistan. It says the refusal to accept peace overtures offered at this week's London conference dealt "a crushing blow" to U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.