Rocket blast at US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

Blast heard near U.S. Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

Many in Washington had been shocked and a few had been offended that the Taliban had been about to go to the presidential retreat on the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist assaults. Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker: "An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound".

If President Donald Trump's now-canceled plan for secret talks with Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents on USA soil was stunning, the date chosen was perhaps even more so: days before the anniversary of 9/11, the reason for the war they were going to talk about ending.

But it has come just a day after the Taliban pledged to retaliate after US President Donald Trump ended the peace talks abruptly.

Getting out of Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have fought a largely fruitless battle against the Taliban over almost two decades, was a top priority.

Two Taleban auto bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission.

"We had two ways to end occupation in Afghanistan, one was jihad and fighting, the other was talks and negotiations", Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.

"If Trump wants to stop talks, we will take the first way and they will soon regret it", he added.

The explosion took place on 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attack.

Under a peace deal, the USA would have withdrawn its troops mainly in exchange for Taliban assurances that it will not allow Afghanistan to become a haven for terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

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The Taliban's assertion got here hours after Trump instructed reporters that the USA was strolling away from negotiations after nearly a 12 months of talks that aimed to pave the way in which for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan following 18 years of struggle.

The now-defunct accords were said to include the withdrawal of 14,000 US troops through the end of 2020.

Taliban and USA negotiators have been trying for a peace settlement for months, which would result in a total withdrawal of US forces from the Middle Eastern nation, where they've been since late 2001.

During a visit to Afghanistan on September 9, U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, indicated to reporters that the United States was likely to increase operations against the Taliban.

Last week's bombings included an attack late Monday which killed 16 and injured 100, mostly civilians, and an attack Thursday which killed two soldiers and ten civilians.

About 14,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan to train local forces.

The U.N. envoy said opportunities for peace over the past year "created hope, but also fear for many", and made clear that the conflict can only be resolved by direct talks involving "the whole spectrum of Afghan society".

The Afghani government had been critical of any sort of peace agreement, largely because the Taliban had demanded Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani be shut out of the negotiations.

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