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Khalilzad announces ‘pause’ in talks after Taliban’s Bagram attack

Khalilzad announces ‘pause’ in talks after Taliban’s Bagram attack

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Dec 13, 2019 - 10:32

 

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The US special envoy to Afghanistaninfo-icon has said he was outraged by a Talibaninfo-icon attack near Bagram airfield this week, and "we’re taking a brief pause," apparently in reference to peace talks that had recently resumed with the militant group, the NBC News reported on Friday.

"When I met the Talibs today, I expressed outrage about yesterday’s attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians," Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, tweeted.

He said the Taliban "must show they are willing & able to respond to Afghan desire for peace," and that "we’re taking a brief pause for them to consult their leadership on this essential topic."

No coalition service members were killed in Wednesday's attack, in which Taliban fighters attempted to breach Bagram airfield north of Kabul, but some were evaluated for minor injuries, a spokesman for the NATOinfo-icon-led Resolute Support mission said.

Two Afghan civilians were killed, and more than 70 civilians were reported injured, the spokesman said.

The remaining Taliban fighters barricaded themselves inside the medical building, which is outside the base, and were killed in in a series of airstrikes, the spokesman said.

The tweets by Khalilzad appear to throw another wrench in peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.

The State Department late Thursday referred questions about the pause to Khalizad's tweet. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday condemned the "coordinated terrorist attack in the strongest possible terms."

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