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NDS chief warns Taliban preparing for war not peace

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(Last Updated On: April 3, 2021)

Ahmad Zia Saraj, Chief of the National Directorate of Security, said Saturday that the Taliban has no intention of laying down arms, nor does it want peace as they are preparing to intensify the conflict across the country.

Addressing a press conference, Saraj stated that the group has increased attacks on Afghan forces since the beginning of the new solar year.

“The Taliban are preparing for war. The group has no will for peace. The members of the group are busy harvesting poppies and then they (Taliban militants) have planned to carry out attacks on various parts of the country,” Saraj stated.

The Taliban insurgents have carried out attacks on the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANSDF) in several provinces since the beginning of the year.

According to reports, Taliban captured the Churkh district of Logar, after blowing up a bridge connecting the Arghandab district to Kandahar city.

In addition to this, the Taliban attacked a joint military base of US and Afghan forces in Khost province this week and a military base in Shindand in Herat province.

The Taliban also assassinated the chief of the Special Unit of the Baghlan police and the Head of Takhar Ulema in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Afghan security forces carried out several operations in parts of the country in the last 14 days.

Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) seized a weapons cache belonging to Commander Alipour, a public uprising commander, in the Bihsud district of Maidan Wardak province.

In another operation, the ANDSF killed at least 16 Taliban militants in two separate operations in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz and Shinkai district of Zabul province.

The Defense Ministry said that heavy clashes were currently underway between the Afghan forces and militants in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Kandahar, Faryab, Helmand and Nangarhar, which have reportedly resulted in heavy casualties among ANDSF troops.

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Taliban warns foreign forces to leave by May 1

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(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

Taliban on Wednesday afternoon warned the US and NATO to stick to the agreement of troops withdrawal on May 1 and said if the Doha agreement is not adhered to problems will be “compounded” and those in breach of the deal will “be held liable”.

In a series of tweets, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said: “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan seeks the withdrawal of all foreign forces from our homeland on the date specified in the Doha Agreement.

“If the agreement is adhered to, a pathway to addressing the remaining issues will also be found.

“If the agreement is breached and foreign forces fail to exit our country on the specified date, problems will certainly be compounded and those whom failed to comply with the agreement will be held liable.”

This comes ahead of an expected official announcement by US President Joe Biden that troops with be pulled out by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meanwhile said in Brussels on Wednesday that the coalition of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan will leave the country in coordination with a planned U.S. withdrawal by September 11.

Blinken said it was time for NATO allies to make good on its mantra that allies went into Afghanistan together and would leave together.

“I am here to work closely with our allies, with the (NATO) secretary-general, on the principle that we have established from the start: In together, adapt together and out together,” Blinken said in a televised statement at NATO headquarters.

“We will work very closely together in the months ahead on a safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan,” Blinken said, standing alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg,

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Austin arrives in Brussels ahead of troop withdrawal announcement

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(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Brussels on Wednesday ahead of a planned announcement by US President Joe Biden that troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11.

Reuters reported earlier that a coalition of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan will leave the country in coordination with a planned U.S. withdrawal by September 11. President Joe Biden is expected to make a formal announcement later Wednesday that will end two decades of fighting.

Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces from mainly NATO countries, but also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan but still rely on U.S. air support, planning and leadership for their training mission.

NATO foreign and defense ministers will discuss their plans later on Wednesday via video conference. A senior NATO diplomat told Reuters that no ally was expected to oppose U.S. President Joe Biden’s formal announcement.

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NATO forces to leave together from Afghanistan: Blinken

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(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

A coalition of NATO-led troops in Afghanistan will leave the country in coordination with a planned U.S. withdrawal by September 11, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Brussels on Wednesday.

His remarks came ahead of a formal announcement of the end of two decades of fighting.

Around 7,000 non-U.S. forces from mainly NATO countries, but also from Australia, New Zealand and Georgia, outnumber the 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan but still rely on U.S. air support, planning and leadership for their training mission, Reuters reported.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Brussels that it was time for NATO allies to make good on its mantra that allies went into Afghanistan together and would leave together.

“I am here to work closely with our allies, with the (NATO) secretary-general, on the principle that we have established from the start: In together, adapt together and out together,” Blinken said in a televised statement at NATO headquarters.

“We will work very closely together in the months ahead on a safe, deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of our forces from Afghanistan,” Blinken said, standing alongside NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg,

NATO foreign and defence ministers will discuss their plans later on Wednesday via video conference. A senior NATO diplomat told Reuters that no ally was expected to oppose U.S. President Joe Biden’s formal announcement, expected later on Wednesday, for a complete U.S. withdrawal of troops by Sept. 11.

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