Published: Wed, September 11, 2019

Blast heard near U.S. Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

Blast heard near U.S. Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

In Afghanistan's capital Kabul, a rocket has hit the defense ministry complex on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Inside the embassy, employees heard the following message over the loudspeaker: "An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound". But it has come just a day after the Taliban pledged to retaliate after US President Donald Trump ended the peace talks abruptly.

The September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. targets prompted the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, which toppled the Taliban regime.

No injuries were reported an hour after the blast, according to the AP.

Trump tweeted Saturday that he canceled an until-then-clandestine weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban representatives and Afghanistan leaders.

The White House said it reversed course on the talks in response to the death of a USA soldier in a huge Kabul bomb blast last week, an attack claimed by the Taliban.

"We've been a peacekeeper there, in a way, for 19 years", the president told reporters last month.

'If Trump desires to cease talks, we are going to take the primary manner and they'll quickly remorse it'. 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. As for withdrawing some of the 14,000 USA troops in the country, he said, "We'd like to get out but we'll get out at the right time".

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

Just before Trump's announcement, US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had completed two days of meetings in Qatar with Taliban lead negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar commander of USA forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller.

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

Days before 9/11 might not be the right time, Camp David might not be the right place, and a peace agreement with the Taliban might not be realistic, but "you have to talk to the enemy if you want it to stop", Riches said. Trump said he was cancelling a "secret" meeting at Camp David between him and the Taliban leaders, and a separate one with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.

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