Washington, Sep 3: The United States would pull 5,400 American troops out of war-ravaged Afghan nation within 20 weeks as part of a reached deal “in principle” with the Taliban, Washington’s senior negotiator has said on Tuesday.
US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad disclosed details of the much long-awaited agreement in a televised interview for the first time after briefing Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on arrangements on Monday.
As the interview aired on TV, a huge blast hit the nation’s capital, Kabul. The militant group claimed the responsibility of the blast in Kabul that claimed the lives of at least 16 individuals with wounding 119 others.
The attack targeted resident housing foreigners with the insurgent group saying the gunmen were also involved. The bomb blast highlights fears US-Taliban negotiations would not level down the daily violence in Afghan.
Khalilzad, in an interview with Tolo news agency, outlined the agreements reached as an outcome of the ninth round of peace talks that have been taking place in the Qatari capital, Doha.
In exchange of American troops withdrawal, the insurgent group claims to ensure they would never use Afghan soil as a base for militants seeking to launch an attack or target the US and its allies.
“We have agreed that if the conditions proceed according to the agreement, we will leave within 135 days five bases in which we are present now,” Mr Khalilzad said.
Delivering text message to the BBC news, a Taliban spokesperson confirmed as correct to the details of the US troops withdrawal as outlined by Khalilzad.
BBC’s Lyse Doucet from Kabul has reported a withdrawal of the left US troops would be in line with conditions, including the beginning of peace talks between the Taliban and Ghani-led Afghan government and a ceasefire.