A large explosion went off in the vicinity of the US Embassy in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, moments after midnight on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, footage from the scene shows.
A plume of smoke rises near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker: "An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound". The NATO mission, which is nearby, also said no personnel had been injured.
Following a string of bombings in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan over the last week, US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban that had been ongoing for over a year, insisting the talks were "dead". Over the weekend, plans to host a Taliban delegation in the United States were cancelled after the militant group took credit for a suicide vehicle bombing in Kabul that killed twelve, including a USA soldier.
"We had two ways to end the occupation in Afghanistan, one was fighting, the other was talks and negotiations", Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) news agency.
In announcing the end to peace talks, Trump accused the Taliban of using terror to strengthen their position, echoing members of his administration.
Days before 9/11 might not be the right time, Camp David might not be the right place, and a peace agreement with the Taliban might not be realistic, but "you have to talk to the enemy if you want it to stop", Riches said.
U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, said during a visit to Afghanistan that the Taliban overplayed its hand in the peace negotiations by carrying out a spate of high profile attacks, including one that killed a U.S. soldier last week. A USA -led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taliban, who had harbored Usama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader and attacks mastermind.
Trump gave the assessment of peace negotiations, which had been going on between USA and Taliban officials for months, on September 9.
Getting out of Afghanistan, where United States troops have fought against the Taliban for almost two decades, has been a top priority for Trump and on Monday he reiterated his intention of pulling out "by the earliest possible time".
The now-defunct accords were said to include the withdrawal of 14,000 US troops through the end of 2020.
Some questioned the idea of hosting Taliban officials in the United States so close to the 18th September 11, 2001, anniversary.
Trump has made no secret of his desire to pull US troops out of Afghanistan.
Judd hopes the Afghan government - which has been largely sidelined from the negotiations - and civilians will have a role in a broader peace process that would produce a durable cease-fire. "Afghans have been bitten by this snake before", added his advisor Waheed Omer.