Taliban suicide car bomber kills four Afghan troops

Taliban suicide car bomber kills four Afghan troops
3 min read
12 September, 2019
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on an Afghan special forces base which killed four soldiers and wounded three others.
Security forces stand guard in Kabul after a suicide car bombing last week [Anadolu/Getty]

A Taliban suicide car bomber has targeted an Afghan special forces base on the outskirts of Kabul, according to an Afghan official, killing at least four troops, as tensions between the Islamist movement and US increase.

Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Afghan defence ministry also says three other soldiers were wounded in Thursday's attack in the Chahar Asyab district in Kabul province.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement sent to the media.

The attack is the latest since President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks on the brink of an apparent deal to end America's longest war.

Two Taliban car bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the NATO mission, including a US soldier.

President Trump warned Wednesday that an unprecedented US military assault against the Taliban in Afghanistan will continue, just five days after he scrapped peace talks with the movement.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Trump said that over "the last four days" US forces have "hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before and that will continue".

Trump said the assault was ordered after he canceled secret peace talks with the Taliban over the weekend in retaliation for a bomb attack that killed one US soldier last week.

Talks declared 'dead'

The announcement comes two days after Trump said that peace talks with the Taliban are over and announced that the US military has dramatically scaled up attacks on the insurgents in Afghanistan.

"They are dead. As far as I am concerned, they are dead," Trump said at the White House about the long-running attempt to reach an agreement with the Taliban and extricate US troops from the country after 18 years of war.

The announcement followed Trump's dramatic cancelation of a secret plan to fly Taliban leaders in for direct talks at the Camp David presidential retreat over the weekend.

Until this weekend, there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the US draw down troop levels in Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban would offer security guarantees to keep extremist groups out.

But then on Saturday, Trump revealed that he had canceled an unprecedented meeting between the Taliban and himself at storied Camp David, near Washington.

He said this was in retaliation for the killing of a US soldier by the Taliban last week.

The cancelation - announced on Twitter - was the first time most Americans learned that such a dramatic meeting was even planned.

Comment: Negotiating with 'terrorists'? How US-Taliban talks expose America's mad logic

Many in Washington were shocked and some were angry that the Taliban had been on the point of visiting the presidential retreat on the eve of the anniversary of the 11 September terrorist attacks.

There was also widespread consternation at the characteristically unpredictable manner of Trump's negotiating style.

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