Trump on 9/11 vows to hit Taliban 'harder'

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a 911 memorial ceremony at the Pentagon to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a 911 memorial ceremony at the Pentagon to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks

It was just after midnight on the morning of September 11 in Kabul when the sound of an explosion echoed across the capital.

The Trump announcement came a day after the USA envoy negotiating with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, completed two days of meetings in Qatar with Taliban lead negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller.

Officials at the compound declared an all-clear about an hour later and reported no injuries, according to the media report.

"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", the U.S. president said in one of his tweets.

Now about 14,000 US troops remain and Trump has called it "ridiculous" that they are still in Afghanistan after so long and so many billions of dollars spent.

The number of US troops peaked at around 100,000 but began to drop steadily after Bin Laden was killed in 2011.

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On Monday, US President Donald Trump said that US peace talks with the Taliban were "dead" after the group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a US service member in Kabul on 5 September.

Trump's move ended a almost year-long diplomatic process led by veteran USA diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad, who held nine rounds of talks with the Taliban, mostly in Qatar. However Khalilzad said final approval still rested with Trump. "He said, 'I want to talk to (President) Ashraf Ghani". On Monday, Khalilzad said an agreement had been reached "in principle" to begin a USA troop withdrawal and only needed Trump's approval.

"We love you, we miss you and you will always be America's heroes", said one woman after reading out the names of her brother and cousin.

Pompeo said the United States won't release the pressure until the Taliban is serious about peace.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said: "We still hear much anxiety expressed by Afghan citizens particularly in view of the Taliban's stated threat to disrupt the electoral process, especially by targeting civilians participating in the elections".

"We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations", spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

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