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Pentagon sees withdrawal from Afghanistan not threatened after new skirmishes


100 dead in 24 hours: Afghan troops and the Taliban fought heavy fighting over the weekend. The fear of new violence is growing. But that won't change anything about the NATO withdrawal, says the Pentagon.

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An Afghan in Kabul sits in the rubble of a burned oil plant


After almost 20 years of war, it should be over in Afghanistan.

In the past few weeks, the withdrawal of the remaining NATO soldiers had formally begun - now there had been new fighting between Afghan soldiers and the radical Islamic Taliban.

But the Pentagon sees no threat to the planned withdrawal of international troops in the fighting last weekend.

The recent skirmishes had "no significant impact," said a spokesman for the US Department of Defense on Monday.

"We haven't seen anything affecting the trigger so far," he added.

According to information from Kabul, more than a hundred insurgents were killed in the fighting over the weekend.

The fighting took place in several provinces.

Both sides are known to exaggerate each other's death toll.

Fear of new violence

Last week the withdrawal of around 9,600 remaining NATO soldiers from Afghanistan began, and on Sunday the US forces handed over Camp Antonik in the troubled southern province of Helmand to Afghan special forces.

The withdrawal is expected to be completed by September 11th at the latest - the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the United States that led to the invasion of Afghanistan by the US Army.

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Handover to the Afghans: US troops take down the flag at Camp Antonik in Helmand Province

Photo: - / AFP

The NATO withdrawal was originally planned by May 1.

Former US President Donald Trump had promised the radical Islamic Taliban that date.

The deadline was then missed due to a lack of progress in the peace talks between the Taliban and the government in Kabul.

The withdrawal of troops is accompanied by concerns that without the presence of international troops, the conflicts in Afghanistan could worsen and the violence could increase dramatically.

A peace agreement between the government in Kabul and the Taliban is not yet in sight.

mrc / AFP

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-05-04

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