Helmand attack reminds Afghanistan remains a dangerous place: Carter
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): Deeply saddened at the terrorist attack in Helmand that killed one US service members and wounded six Afghans, the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday said that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place.
“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country,” Carter said.
“We will continue to work closely with the government of Afghanistan and our NATO partners to bolster the capabilities of the ANDSF so they can provide the people of Afghanistan the peace they deserve,” he said in a statement.
Carter said he is deeply saddened to learn one of US service members was killed and another wounded while engaged in their mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces.
Six Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the IED blast.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the service member killed and all those injured,” he said.
The State Department Deputy Spokesman, Mark Toner, said the United States is committed to a successful, prosperous future for Afghanistan.
“We’re aware this is fighting season; there’s been some challenges. We’ve seen that certainly in Helmand province over the past – or recent weeks, where fighting has been quite intense,” he said.
“Or efforts, in terms of security, remain focused on working with Afghan forces, making sure that they are capable, equipped, and able to confront and defeat Taliban on the battlefield,” he said.
The US, he said, would like to see an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process established between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban. “That remains our desire. The sooner we get there, the sooner we can have a settlement that’s in the long-term interest of the Afghan people and indeed the region,” he added.
The US, he said strongly support and continue to support the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan.
“We understand that there’s challenges, work to be done, but we’ve also seen some progress. We’re going to encourage the government and its leadership to work through current tensions and to continue to work for the good of the country,” Toner said.
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