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

Column As we remember September 11 let’s not forget the mistakes made in its name

Column As we remember September 11 let’s not forget the mistakes made in its name

Many in Washington had been shocked and a few had been offended that the Taliban had been about to go to the presidential retreat on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist assaults.

Inside the embassy, employees heard the following message over the loudspeaker: "An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound".

The Sept. 28 poll will be the fourth presidential election in Afghanistan since 2001, when the United States invaded the country following the September 11 attacks and overthrew the Taliban, in power since 1996. The NATO mission, which is nearby, also said no personnel had been injured.

Citing a Taliban attack on September 5, President Trump announced on Saturday that he had canceled a secret meeting with Taliban negotiators at the US -based Camp David.

The peace negotiations - which were in their final stages, only requiring a final sign-off from both parties - were meant to smooth the USA withdrawal from Afghanistan and ensure the Taliban did not use the country as a terrorist "safe haven".

Two Taleban vehicle bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

'We had two methods to finish occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and combating, the opposite was talks and negotiations, ' Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated.

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

U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, said during a visit to Afghanistan that the Taliban overplayed its hand in the peace negotiations by carrying out a spate of high profile attacks, including one that killed a U.S. soldier last week.

Under a peace deal, the US would have withdrawn its troops mainly in exchange for Taliban assurances that it will not allow Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

The assault came days after the top USA peace negotiator, Zalmay Khalilzad, proclaimed that almost a year of peace negotiations with the Taliban had yielded a deal "in principle".

It's broadly thought that Trump has been pushing for a withdrawal of United States troops in time for his 2020 reelection bid.

About 14,000 US soldiers remain in the country and Trump has called their ongoing deployment "ridiculous", including the many billions of dollars spent in the war.

The Afghan government was not part of the talks, but President Ashraf Ghani has said the government is willing to engage in peace talks with the Taliban under the right conditions, including 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.

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