Monday, 23 September, 2019


Blast heard near US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

Blast heard near US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary 1st LD Writethru: Blast occurs near US embassy in Kabul, casualties feared
Hannah Rogers | 11 September, 2019, 10:26

A plume of smoke rose early Wednesday over Kabul.

An embassy employee reached by phone confirmed the explosion but had no details.

No injuries were reported an hour after the blast, according to the AP. The NATO mission, which is nearby, also said no personnel had been injured. A tentative peace deal would have seen the U.S. withdraw 4,500 troops from the country within 20 weeks, in return for Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan would never again be used as a base for terrorism.

Last week, Kabul was the scene of two attacks claimed by the Taliban that killed more than two dozen people.

The strike took place near the US embassy, just after midnight.

"We've been a peacekeeper there, in a way, for 19 years", the president told reporters last month. With an agreement to end America's longest war on hold, Afghanistan suddenly faces a presidential vote within three weeks amid warnings that it's not ready. "One was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations", said Mujahid.

"If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it".

The 9/11 anniversary is a sensitive day in Afghanistan's capital and one on which attacks have occurred.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted the US -led invasion of Afghanistan, which toppled the Taliban regime.

Getting out of Afghanistan, where USA troops have fought a largely fruitless battle against the Taliban over almost two decades, was a top priority.

Now about 14,000 United States troops remain and Trump has called it "ridiculous" that they are still in Afghanistan after so long and so many billions of dollars spent. His discovery of this foundational problem came when Khalilzad and the Taliban had all but stitched up an agreement to facilitate fulfilment of Trump's election promise - withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

The U.N. envoy for Afghanistan said Tuesday it is imperative for direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban to start quickly, and he urged the militant Islamist group to retract its threat to disrupt the upcoming presidential election.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for peace and asked the Taliban to agree to a cease-fire. "If they can not agree to a ceasefire during these very important peace talks, and would even kill 12 innocent people, then they probably don't have the power to negotiate a meaningful agreement anyway", he tweeted late on September 7. "Afghans have been bitten by this snake before", added his advisor Waheed Omer.

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