Auto bomb blast outside military university in Kabul

Nellie Chapman
February 14, 2020

The strike that took place in November was considered to be one of the major attacks previously carried out by the Taliban.

The Taliban have refrained from attacking major urban centres, though violence in the provinces has continued, bringing frequent attacks on Afghan and USA security forces. That would be followed, within 10 days, by all-Afghan negotiations to set the road map for the political future of a post-war Afghanistan.

The US and Taleban had been negotiating for a year and were on the brink of an announcement in September 2019 when US President Donald Trump abruptly declared the process "dead", citing ongoing Taleban violence.

The U.S. military is planning to spend less on the war in Afghanistan than at any other time in over a decade, partly because of an expected drawdown of American forces from the country, a draft Defense Department budget shows.

The Taliban and the USA peace talks underway in Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, have become bogged down over agreeing on how to end or substantially reduce hostilities.

Ghani said in a statement that the nation demands an immediate end to the violence and a durable ceasefire.

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Tuesday's blast comes as Washington and the Taliban wrangle over a possible deal that would see USA troops begin to leave Afghanistan in return for security guarantees from the Afghan armed group.

According to reports, the explosion took place at around 7 am local time.

There are fears that a full withdrawal of some 20,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops, including about 12,000 USA forces, would leave the Afghan government vulnerable to collapse, or unleash another round of fighting in a war that has killed tens of thousand. "If both those things and a number of other conditions are met and we are able to get agreement on them, I think we could have some good news coming out of Afghanistan - so we'll have to wait and see over the next several days and weeks".

The Taliban today control or hold sway over almost half of Afghanistan and are at their highest since the 2001 United States invasion that ousted the Taliban who harboured the late al Qaida terror network leader Osama bin Laden.

Who is behind the attack?

The Taliban today controls or has influence over about half of Afghanistan. Many fear a full withdrawal of some 20,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops would leave the Afghan government vulnerable to collapse, or unleash another round of fighting in a war that has killed tens of thousands.

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