US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said the pullout – the result of nine rounds of peace talks in Qatar – would happen within 135 days, and see the closure of five American bases.As the news was announced, the Taliban – who now control more territory than at any time since their overthrow in 2001 – took credit for killing at least 16 civilians in a bomb and gun attack in Kabul.Deal a year in the makingIn exchange for the US troops leaving, the Taliban is promising that Afghan soil will not be used as a base for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State to attack the West.While this deal has been a year in the making, many analysts in the country remain unconvinced it will do much to end the daily violence faced by ordinary Afghans.Taliban threaten Afghan presidential electionsWho is saying what at US-Taliban talks in Qatar?“This is not an Afghan peace – this is peace between the Taliban and the US that offers an excuse for the US to pull out their soldiers,” says Ahmad Shaheer Anil, of the Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organisation in Kabul.“Millions and billions of dollars and the support of more… Read full this story
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