Can’t Be Trusted? Taliban Carries Out Suicide Bombing Hours After U.S. Envoy Claims Deal Reached ‘In Principle’ to End U.S. War in Afghanistan

  • On Tuesday, the Taliban defended the suicide bombing they carried out “against an international compound in the Afghan capital that killed at least 16 people and wounded 119, almost all local civilians,” mere hours before a U.S. envoy claimed he and the group had worked out a deal “in principle” to end the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
  • Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said “five attackers were killed in the Monday night attack and some 400 foreigners rescued.”
  • A witness said: “People were screaming and saying, ‘My children are trapped in the rubble,’” and according to witnesses, “a large crater was left in the street from a tractor packed with explosives.”
  • The militant members of the “Taliban continue to kill Afghan civilians in attacks they say are meant for foreign invaders or the Afghan government, apparently sacrificing the support of the people they might wish to rule.”
  • The latest suicide bombing “occurred just hours after U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Afghan government on an agreement in principle with the Taliban that would see 5,000 U.S. troops withdraw from five bases in the country within 135 days of a final deal on ending nearly 18 years of fighting.”
  • Currently, there are 13,000 to 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
  • The attacks come “even as the U.S. envoy says the deal with the insurgents only needs the approval of President Donald Trump to become a reality. The accord would include a troop withdrawal that the Taliban already portray as their victory.”
  • Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “We understand that peace talks are going on … but they must also understand that we are not weak and if we enter into talks … we enter from a strong position.”
  • Further, Mujahid said “the attack was a response to raids by U.S. and Afghan forces on civilians across the country. While he acknowledged there should be less harm to civilians, he said they shouldn’t live near such an important foreign compound.”
  • With the attacks, there is growing skepticism “among some in Washington about the dangers of trusting the Taliban to make peace.”
  • Several former U.S. ambassadors to Afghanistan on Tuesday “warned in a joint statement published by the Atlantic Council that it is not clear whether peace is possible, saying the Taliban have made it clear that the war will go on against the Afghan government.”
  • Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi tweeted: “This [is] what the Taliban are up to in Afghanistan; totally committed to total destruction. Can they be trusted!!??”

Reference Links

  • AP: Shattering Taliban attack in Kabul even as US deal nears READ
  • The Independent: ABC reporter: ‘It’s pure hell’ in Dorian-devastated Bahamas READ
  • RadioFreeEurope: Taliban Attack Shakes Kabul, Killing 16 As Peace Deal Reached ‘In Principle’ READ
  • YAHOO!: Shattering Taliban attack in Kabul even as US deal nears READ

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