A suicide bombing claimed by the Taliban killed at least 16 people on Monday (September 2nd) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The blast, which was followed by gunfire and a gas station explosion, occurred near the large Green Village complex, where aid agencies and international organizations are domiciled. "The explosion was caused by a tractor loaded with explosives," Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said on Tuesday, adding that 119 people were also injured.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, led by their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid by a suicide bomber and a commando. This is their third major action in as many days.
They launched an offensive Saturday to seize the strategic city of Kunduz in the north of the country, followed by an operation in Pul-e Khumri, the capital of the neighboring province of Baghlan, before to be pushed back.
The draft agreement between the United States and the Taliban
The attack in Kabul occurred just as Afghan television aired an interview with US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, in which he spoke of the peace deal being negotiated with the Taliban. The former US ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, who is of Afghan descent, met with President Ashraf Ghani on his arrival to discuss the outcome of the ninth round of talks with the Taliban a few hours earlier. in Doha, Qatar.
It has been a year since Zalmay Khalilzad discussed a compromise with the insurgents to try to end eighteen years of war in Afghanistan, and a historic agreement to this end is now considered imminent. He "showed" Monday to the president a copy of the draft agreement, according to government officials.
The text says that the US military withdraws its forces from five military bases in Afghanistan if the Taliban fulfill their commitments, Zalmay Khalilzad revealed Monday during his interview with the Afghan channel Tolo News.
Some 14,000 US troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon, and US President Donald Trump said Aug. 29 that if agreed, 8,600 US troops would initially remain in the country. In return for this withdrawal, the Taliban should provide guarantees in the fight against terrorism.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had previously said he hoped a peace agreement could be reached by September 1, ahead of the presidential election scheduled for September 28 in Afghanistan.