Afghan Peace Prospects Dim as Outrage Grows Over Taliban Violence

Afghan Peace Prospects Dim as Outrage Grows Over Taliban Violence by Pamela Constable – Washington Post

Afghanistan’s dwindling prospects for peace took another downward turn Tuesday when both Afghan officials and Taliban leaders issued sharply bellicose messages after a spate of insurgent attacks in the capital and a comment by President Trump that the violence had soured him on peace negotiations with Afghan militants.

“Believe me, I will take revenge,” President Ashraf Ghani said after an evening prayer service in the capital, visibly angry after a week of suicide bombings and armed raids that took more than 100 lives and wounded nearly 300 people. The country’s enemies, he said, “should know that Afghans do not have a president who will give in.”

In a separate formal statement, Ghani’s chief spokesman said that by launching such horrific violence, “the Taliban has lost the opportunity for peace talks. From now on, peace must be sought on the battleground.”

The Afghan leader’s abrupt shift, after months of calling for peace talks, echoed remarks made by Trump in Washington on Monday, reacting to the series of deadly insurgent attacks beginning Jan. 20 that targeted civilians in a luxury hotel, at a British charity and on a busy city block near a hospital, as well as soldiers guarding a military academy…

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