U.S. officially begins to withdraw from Afghanistan

Delay in troops withdrawal to not go unanswered Taliban

Delay in troops withdrawal to not go unanswered Taliban

The commander of foreign forces in Afghanistan warned on Saturday it would be a mistake for insurgents to attack foreign troops still present in the country after the passing of a May 1 deadline for withdrawal agreed past year with Taliban militants. The U.S. military then responded to the rocket attack with an airstrike on a Taliban position, CNN reports.

The war in Afghanistan - as we remember the debates here - were [sic] never meant to be multigenerational undertakings of nation-building. Since the start of the war they have taken heavy losses, with estimates ranging from 66,000 to 69,000 Afghan troops killed.

On Friday, the evening before the launch of the final withdrawal phase, which is set to end by or before September 11, 2021, a truck bomb exploded outside of a guesthouse in Pul-e-Alam in Logar Province, killing at least 27 people.

It was not clear who was behind the attack, but the government blamed the Taliban who said they were looking into the matter.

The Taliban responded to the Biden administration's move with fiery rhetoric and threatened consequences, boycotting a crucial conference in Turkey scheduled for last month that had been planned to help jumpstart stalling Afghan peace talks in Doha.

Earlier in the week Mujahid told Reuters conversations were continuing. In a response to AP questions, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the Taliban leadership was still mulling over its strategy.

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"Potential adversaries should know that if they attack us in our withdrawal, we will defend ourselves, [and] our partners, with all the tools at our disposal", White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said as she traveled with reporters on Air Force One.

After 20 years of American valour and sacrifice in Afghanistan, it's time to bring troops home, US President Joe Biden has said, assuring fellow citizens that his administration will maintain capabilities to suppress future threats to the homeland.

In the lead up to May 1, sources said there was a flurry of meetings as negotiations with the Taliban over the deadline extension continued.

The Taliban has accused the USA of violating the agreement - which originally marked May 1 as the final deadline - with Biden's extension, though multiple spokesmen for the group said Saturday that leaders are still deciding how to respond.

Since the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban after the September 11, 2001 attacks, America has spent more than United States dollars 1 trillion in fighting and rebuilding in Afghanistan.

On Friday, senior Taliban members said they acknowledge Washington's plan, but the delay violates the peace deal.

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