Kabul on high alert in the middle of ‘due date’ for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

Kabul on high alert amid 'deadline' for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

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KABUL — Security in the Afghan capital, Kabul, was increase Saturday as the city braced for response from the Taliban in the middle of U.S. soldiers preparing for withdrawal.

An increased military existence and security at checkpoints showed up in Kabul and a security source informed Reuters the city had actually been put on “high alert.”

Under the Trump administration’s February 2020 handle the Taliban, foreign forces were to withdraw from the nation by May 1 while the Taliban held back on assaulting foreign soldiers and bases. But President Joe Biden revealed last month, after evaluating the scenario, that requires would remain in the nation for months beyond May, withdrawing by Sept. 11.

Violence versus Afghans has actually intensified starkly in current weeks, with more than a hundred Afghan security force workers eliminated.

On the eve of the formerly concurred May 1 withdrawal due date, a substantial blast in eastern Logar eliminated lots as they broke their quick throughout the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. It was unclear who lagged the attack.

The Taliban has actually reacted to the Biden administration’s choice with intense rhetoric and threatened repercussions, boycotting an essential conference in Turkey set up for last month that had actually been prepared to assist start stalling Afghan peace talks in Doha.

Since then, contacts have actually been kept, authorities and Taliban sources state, in an effort to attempt to get the Taliban back to working out table and consent to the extended foreign troop existence.

As of Saturday it was uncertain whether concrete development had actually been made and there had actually been no statement on an extension.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter on Saturday that the passing due date suggested “this violation in principle has opened the way for (Taliban fighters) to take every counter-action it deems appropriate against the occupying forces.” But he included that fighters were waiting on the choice of Taliban management.

Washington has actually likewise cautioned that if foreign forces were assaulted while performing the withdrawal, they would safeguard themselves “with all the tools at our disposal.”

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Experts stated the Taliban hazards need to be taken seriously, however a variety of aspects suggested that major attacks versus foreign targets might be avoided, as the Taliban continued settlements.

“We can’t rule out attacks,” stated Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Programme at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. “That said, the Taliban is less likely to attack foreign forces now that it knows there is a specific date when they will be leaving.”

Also on Friday, the eve of the May 1 due date, envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan and the United States convened with Taliban authorities and Afghan federal government arbitrators in the Qatari capital. The Taliban stated they went over the peace procedure and their demand that Taliban leaders be eliminated from sanctions lists.

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