Militant group Taliban on Tuesday said it would continue to fight against United States military in Afghanistan after President Donald Trump said that talks with the insurgents “are dead”, AFP reported.
“We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations,” the news agency quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid as saying. “If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it.”
The US president had said on Monday that peace talks with the militant group were over and declared that the country’s military had increased attacks on the insurgents. “They [negotiations] are dead. As far as I am concerned, they are dead,” Trump said at the White House about the discussions with the Taliban to end the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.
Trump’s announcement came after he cancelled secret talks with top leaders of the Taliban and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at his Camp David retreat on Sunday. He claimed that the group had jeopardised the talks when it admitted responsibility for a bombing in Kabul that killed 12 people, including an American soldier.
“We have been serving as policemen in Afghanistan, and that was not meant to be the job of our Great Soldiers, the finest on earth,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!”
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had announced on Sunday, that “over a thousand Taliban in just the last 10 days” were killed by the country’s soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. The extremist group had cautioned on the same day that Americans would lose the most for cancelling the negotiations.
A spokesperson of the militant group had also claimed that an agreement was finalised a few days ago, which “everyone was satisfied” with. “At this time, the disappointing President Trump’s tweets have been unbelievable and certainly damaged his credibility,” the spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, had said.
The Taliban and the United States have gone through nine rounds of talks in Doha, Qatar. Following the proposed final peace agreement, the militant group had said that Qatar would announce the deal.
Under the proposed deal, Washington had said it would withdraw 5,400 soldiers within 20 weeks in exchange for the militant group’s guarantee that Afghanistan would not be used as its base for terrorism. Nearly 14,000 American troops are currently deployed in the country.
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