What peace? Taliban sets off bomb in Kabul
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/07/19, 10:49 am
Days after the Taliban and United States claimed to have made progress in peace talks, the extremist group carried out a major suicide attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The bomber detonated an explosives-filled car at a security checkpoint outside police headquarters, in the western part of the city, killing 14 people and injuring 145—many of them civilians.
Where does this leave the peace process? On Monday, U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the two sides had made “excellent progress” in talks in Qatar. The Taliban said it would cut ties with other extremist groups in exchange for the United States withdrawing troops. But the Taliban has continued with near-daily attacks. Khalilzad is still pushing for a final agreement by Sept. 1, ahead of the country’s national elections on Sept. 28.
Dig deeper: In January, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called U.S. peace talks with the Taliban an act of surrender. Last month, the Hudson Institute’s Hussain Haqqani warned against handing the extremists a victory: “As long as the U.S. looks like the desperate party, the chances of success will remain slim.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.