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

KABUL — Security within the Afghan capital, Kabul, was ramped up Saturday as town braced for response from the Taliban amid U.S. troops readying for withdrawal.

An elevated army presence and safety at checkpoints had been seen in Kabul and a safety supply informed Reuters town had been positioned on “high alert.”

Under the Trump administration’s February 2020 deal with the Taliban, overseas forces had been to withdraw from the nation by May 1 whereas the Taliban held off on attacking overseas troops and bases. But President Joe Biden announced last month, after reviewing the scenario, that forces would keep within the nation for months past May, withdrawing by Sept. 11.

Violence against Afghans has escalated starkly in current weeks, with greater than 100 Afghan safety power personnel killed.

On the eve of the beforehand agreed May 1 withdrawal deadline, an enormous blast in jap Logar killed dozens as they broke their quick throughout the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. It was not clear who was behind the assault.

The Taliban has responded to the Biden administration’s decision with fiery rhetoric and threatened penalties, boycotting a vital convention in Turkey scheduled for final month that had been deliberate to assist jumpstart stalling Afghan peace talks in Doha.

Since then, contacts have been maintained, official and Taliban sources say, in an effort to attempt to get the Taliban again to negotiating desk and conform to the prolonged overseas troop presence.

As of Saturday it was unclear whether or not concrete progress had been made and there had been no announcement on an extension.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Twitter on Saturday that the passing deadline meant “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 added that fighters had been ready on the choice of Taliban management.

Washington has additionally warned that if overseas forces had been attacked whereas finishing up the withdrawal, they might defend themselves “with all the tools at our disposal.”

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Experts mentioned the Taliban threats should be taken seriously, however plenty of components meant that full-scale assaults towards overseas targets could possibly be averted, because the Taliban continued negotiations.

“We can’t rule out attacks,” mentioned Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Programme on 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 deadline, envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan and the United States held conferences with Taliban officers and Afghan authorities negotiators in the Qatari capital. The Taliban mentioned they mentioned the peace course of and their request that Taliban leaders be eliminated from sanctions lists.

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